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June 2012

June 4, 2012

Líderes profesionales afrocolombianos se reúnen en Washington para aportar al progreso de sus comunidades 
Con el apoyo de la Embajada de Colombia y la Corporación Manos Visibles, representantes del Gobierno, el Congreso, la sociedad civil y académicos de los Estados Unidos interactuarán con más de 13 colombianos afrodescendientes que cursan estudios de postgrado en universidades estadounidenses, sobre el liderazgo para generar cambios económicos, políticos y sociales en sus comunidades. 
 
Washington, DC, 4 de junio de 2012. Líderes profesionales afrocolombianos, beneficiarios de las becas Fullbright y Martin Luther King, estarán en Washington los días 5 y 6 de junio para compartir propuestas y visiones que contribuyan al progreso, a mejorar la competitividad y la inclusión social y cultural de sus comunidades.
 
La Conferencia titulada: “Juventud afrocolombiana: Empoderamiento para la inclusión”, se realiza con el apoyo de la Embajada de Colombia ante el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos, la Corporación Manos Visibles y el respaldo del Departamento de Estado.
 
Durante los dos días, afrodescendientes de varias regiones de Colombia, con estudios de postgrado en universidades estadounidenses, tendrán la oportunidad de intercambiar ideas con representantes del Gobierno, el Congreso, la sociedad civil y académicos de EE.UU.
 
Participarán en la conferencia el Representante a la Cámara demócrata Gregory Meeks, uno de los líderes más respetado del Caucus Negro del Congreso norteamericano; Philip Thomson, profesor del Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); John Franklin, Director de Alianzas y de programas internacionales del Museo Nacional de Historia y Cultura Afroamericanas del Instituto Smithsonian, y Zakiya Carr Johnson, Consejero de la Unidad de Raza, Etnia e Inclusión Social de la oficina de Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental del  Departamento de Estado, entre otros.
 
El Embajador de Colombia en Washington, Gabriel Silva, será el encargado de abrir los dos días de conferencia, y la ex Ministra de Cultura, Paula Moreno, hablará sobre la importancia de crear una red de jóvenes profesionales afrocolombianos.
 
Espacio de reflexión
 
El evento busca generar un espacio de reflexión y reconocimiento en el cual los profesionales afrodescendientes que han sido beneficiarios de los programas educativos Becas Martin Luther King y Becas Fullbright, se conviertan en catalizadores de cambios económicos, políticos y sociales en sus comunidades.
 
También se enfocará en visibilizar la importancia de los programas educativos, como grandes contribuyentes al cambio y empoderamiento de los jóvenes líderes.
 
Así mismo, la conferencia permitirá crear una red de jóvenes líderes afrocolombianos con una agenda de trabajo que garantice su contribución para el futuro de sus comunidades y lograr una proyección profesional cuando regresen a Colombia.
 
Tema afro en la agenda Colombia-EE.UU.
 
Colombia viene priorizando acciones a favor de la población afrocolombiana, es por ello que la situación de las minorías étnicas y raciales hacen parte de la agenda bilateral entre los gobiernos de Estados Unidos y Colombia. 
 
En los últimos 10 años, el desarrollo económico y social de la población  afrocolombiana ha sido  una de las tareas principales. Desde 2004, se han llevado a cabo dos programas educativos de gran impacto: las Becas Martin Luther King y las Becas Fullbright para líderes afrodescendientes otorgadas en 2008.
 
Así mismo, en 2010 ambos países firmaron el Plan de Acción para la Equidad Racial y Étnica, en el cual se identificaron como ejes estratégicos la educación, el medio ambiente, la cultura y las oportunidades laborales.
 
Igualmente, desde 2006, la Embajada viene celebrando la Semana Afrocolombiana en Washington, en el marco del Black History Month. Para ello, se ha contado con la participación de líderes comunitarios y reconocidos representantes culturales como Petrona Martínez, de la comunidad de San Basilio de Palenque.
 
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June 12, 2012

Baltimore Sun

Tuesday morning, shortly before 9, a half-dozen tall ships from around the world set off from Town Point Park in Norfolk for the roughly 24-hour sail to Baltimore.

June 15, 2012
June 19, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos spoke about his country's stable economy at this year's G20 summit meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. Santos told finance ministers and heads of state from the world's 20 major economies that Colombia had weathered the global economic crisis through "certainty over the future," and by identifying "actors in the crisis that had to act: the government, banks, businesses and a very important factor, families(...) All these elements were necessary but we only acted on the four we considered sufficient. And that was the short-term plan."

June 19, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Congress has approved a modification to the country's budget, allowing more resources to be allocated to the country's increasing tourism industry, local media reported Tuesday. The new law, which includes a budget reform, is expected to formalize tourism service providers, stop the illegal tourist industry, strengthen the environmental responsibilities of the tourism sector and facilitate funding initiatives for new projects.

June 22, 2012

Colombia Reports

Avianca-Taca, Colombia’s national airline carrier, has joined Star Alliance, the world's first and largest airline alliance, making international and domestic travel more accessible to customers, Radio Caracol reported Friday. Fabio Villegas, president of Avianca-Taca, said the deal would provide customers with many benefits, highlighting that miles accumulated with the airline could now be used on any of the other 28 airlines in the Star Alliance.

June 21, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia set the tone for the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development, widely known as Rio+20, by spearheading a major environmental proposal thatelicited a positive response from the summit's secretary general. Colombia's proposal, presented in tandem with the government of Guatemala, suggested that the 190 attending countries define "aspirational sustainable development goals, or objectives, at a broad level," according to a UN brief.

June 22, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombians prepare to celebrate important regional folkloric music and dance in the 44th International Joropo Tournament. Joropo is a musical style with African and European roots that resembles the waltz. It is accompanied by dance, traditionally performed by inhabitants of the Colombia and Venezuela plains, starting in the late 1800s.

June 22, 2012

Reuters

Colombia has put aside 17.6-million hectares of land for future use by the mining industry, mainly in precious metal- and oil-producing eastern regions, to bring more order to the licensing process, the government said on Thursday. … The government of President Juan Manuel Santos is trying to reform the sector, streamlining licenses, consolidating oversight and strengthening institutions.

June 22, 2012

Platts

Colombian coal production should reach 115 million mt by the end of the current term in government, or 2014, the country's energy and mining minister Mauricio Cardenas said in a statement late Thursday. He attributed the boost in the production target to the high levels of investment in exploration and mining projects in the country. This includes a $1.31 billion project to expand the Cerrejon thermal coal mine in Colombia's northern La Guajira province, one of the biggest coal deposits in the world.

June 22, 2012

Lightwave

GlobeNet, a provider of submarine capacity and a subsidiary of Brazil’s Oi, has announced plans for an express route from its future landing on Colombia’s Atlantic coast to Miami. UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones, the largest Internet provider in Colombia where it also acts as a full-service telecom operator, has signed a long-term agreement with GlobeNet to become the anchor tenant on the new subsea route.

June 25, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's tourism ministry revealed that the Andean nation saw a 5.3% increase in foreign visitors between January and April 2012 compared to the same period last year. The rise continues the surge in tourism to Colombia, which has increased by nearly 300% since 2006.

June 26, 2012

Colombia Reports

The respective governments of Colombia and South Korea signed a joint declaration in Bogota Monday officially concluding negotiations of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries that began in 2009. "We decided to proceed promptly(...) for the FTA to enter into force," said an official statement released by both countries Monday.

June 26, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia's Minister of Trade, Commerce and Tourism signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union in Brussels on Tuesday, President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed in an official statement. "Today our governments send a clear signal to investors and businesses to raise their expectations and aspirations so that all citizens may have a more optimistic future," said minister Sergio Diaz-Granados.

June 25, 2012

Grist Blog

Reading fans in Colombia, especially the capital city of Bogota, never need to worry about being without a book on a beautiful day. There are nearly 50 of these perfect little library kiosks scattered around the city’s parks, and 100 across the country.

June 27, 2012

Colombia Reports

Internet giant Google started photographing the streets of Colombia Wednesday for its Street View program, which provides panoramic views of much of the world using innovative satellite, mapping and imaging technologies. Google will send teams to various cities across the country, using its multi-lens cameras to capture 360 degree views of Colombia at street level.

June 27, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the free trade agreement the Andean nation finalized with the European Union Tuesday is beneficial to Colombia, according to an official statement from the president's office. “This agreement means a preferable commercial relation with the world’s prime importer of goods and services, it also remains a market with a great buying capacity,” said Santos at the the15th annual commemoration of Bogota's tax-free zone.

June 14, 2012

Washington Post

A week-long festival featuring more than 40 tall ships and naval vessels commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

June 14, 2012

Reuters

Colombia expects lower fiscal deficits in 2013 than in 2012, while economic growth is projected at 4.8 percent for both years, Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry said on Thursday. Latin America's No. 4 oil producer has seen a strong recovery from the global economic crisis, recouping three investment-grade credit ratings and continuing to reap strong inflows in the mining and oil sectors.

June 4, 2012

Afro-Colombian Youth Leaders to Visit Washington for Dialogue on Advancing Economic, Political, Social Change in their Communities
With the support of the Colombian Embassy in Washington and the Visible Hands Corporation, representatives from the U.S. government, Congress, civil society, and academics from the United States will join more than 13 Afro-Colombian youth for discussions of leadership to create economic, political, and social change in their communities.

Washington, DC, June 4, 2012 – Afro-Colombian youth leaders who have been awarded Fulbright and Martin Luther King scholarships will be in Washington on June 5th and 6th to share their proposals and visions for progress, increased competitiveness, and social and cultural inclusion in their communities.

The conference, themed “Afro-Colombian Youth: Empowerment for Inclusion,” was organized by the Colombian Embassy and the Visible Hands Corporation, with support from the U.S. Department of State. During the two-day conference, Afro-descendent youth from various regions in Colombia who hold graduate degrees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with representatives from the U.S. Government,U.S. Congress, civil society, and academia.

Conference participants include Congressman Gregory Meeks, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Colombia Caucus; Philip Thomson, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); John Franklin, Director of Partnerships and International Programs at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Zakiya Carr Johnson, Senior Advisor for the Race, Ethnicity and Social Inclusion Unit in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Colombian Ambassador to the United States Gabriel Silva will deliver opening remarks on the first day of the conference and former Colombian Minister of Culture Paula Moreno will speak on the importance of creating a network for young Afro-Colombian professionals.

Space for Reflection

The event aims to generate a space for reflection to encourage participants to become catalysts for economic, political and social change in their communities. The conference will also focus on the importance of educational programs as contributors to change and empowerment for young leaders. In addition, the conference will facilitate the creation of a network for young Afro-Colombian leaders with a work agenda that guarantees their contribution to the future of their communities and to increase professional opportunities when they return to Colombia.

Afro-Descendent Topics in the U.S.-Colombia Agenda

Colombia has prioritized actions that benefit Afro-Colombian populations. As a result, the well-being of ethnic and racial minorities has become an important part of the bilateral agenda between the Colombian and U.S. governments.

In the last 10 years, development and equality for Afro-Colombian populations have become an important part of the government’s agenda. Since 2004, two educational programs with great impact have been implemented – the Martin Luther King Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship for Afro-Colombian leaders, both of which were created in 2008.

In 2010, the U.S.-Colombia Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality was signed, establishing education, environmental issues, culture, and income generation as strategic areas to address.

Since 2006, as part of Black History Month, the Embassy has been celebrating Afro-Colombian Week in Washington. Community leaders and cultural representatives, such as Petrona Martínez from the community of San Basilio de Palenque, have participated in these events.
 
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June 4, 2012

Embassy of Colombia

With the support of the Colombian Embassy in Washington and the Visible Hands Corporation, representatives from the U.S. government, Congress, civil society, and academics from the United States will join more than 13 Afro-Colombian youth for discussions of leadership to create economic, political, and social change in their communities.

June 5, 2012

Brisbane Times

… Colombia, with a population of 46 million, is a country in transition, with a growing middle class, improved security and huge potential for businesses. It also now has Latin America's fourth-largest economy, and has dodged the economic collapses and hyperinflation of countries such as Argentina. Virtually shut off from the outside world for many years, the country's tourism industry and other sectors, including mining, are taking off in a big way.

June 4, 2012

Roll Call

The tangible benefits of Congressional actions often take years to have an effect. But some popcorn farmers have already seen a boon from the Colombia free-trade agreement. The deal, along with agreements with South Korea and Panama, was a major legislative initiative for President Barack Obama and an example of the handful of bipartisan agreements to make it through Congress this year. It’s undoubtedly an achievement likely to be touted by both parties this election cycle.

June 4, 2012

USAgNet

A U.S. Grains Council trade team celebrates the U.S., Colombia Free Trade Agreement in Colombia this week. Along with the American Soybean Association-International Marketing and USDA's Ag Trade Office in Bogota, the Council hosted more than 100 Colombian importers, end-users, feed manufactures and policy decision makers at an evening networking reception and celebration.

June 6, 2012
June 6, 2012

AFP

Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico signed an accord Wednesday creating the Pacific Alliance to more deeply integrate their economies, and develop new trade links with the Asia-Pacific region. "From the heights of Paranal, in the most arid desert in the world and under the clearest of skies, we have signed a pact officially giving birth to the Pacific Alliance," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said.

June 6, 2012

Wall Street Journal

Colombia's exports increased in April, driven by the oil and mining industries, extending a trend seen throughout 2011 and in the first months of 2012. Exports for April rose 4% compared with a year earlier, to $4.88 billion, the government's statistics agency DANE said Wednesday. Exports of fuel and industrial fuel extracts jumped 16.4% from a year earlier.

June 8, 2012

Bloomberg

Colombia’s oil output rose to 936,052 barrels a day in May, up 1 percent from the same month a year earlier, Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas told reporters today in Cartagena. May output was hampered by infrastructure and transport difficulties, particularly in the Transandino pipeline, the Mines and Energy Ministry said today in an e-mailed statement.

June 14, 2012

Llega el Buque ARC “Gloria” de Colombia a Baltimore
El velero llega este jueves 14 de junio al Puerto de Baltimore, Maryland, junto con 25 embarcaciones de 15 países del mundo que participan en el Desfile Naval Opsail 2012. 

Washington, D.C. 14 de junio de 2012. El Buque Escuela ARC “Gloria”, insignia de la Armada Nacional de Colombia y embajador flotante de nuestro país en los mares y puertos del mundo, llega este jueves 14 de junio a Baltimore, Maryland, junto a  25 embarcaciones de 15 países que participan en el Opsail 2012.

El “Gloria” hace parte del desfile naval que organiza Opsail, una organización sin ánimo de lucro que promueve las embarcaciones de vela de gran altura y convoca la buena voluntad entre las naciones. La operación Opsail lleva más de diez años visitando los puertos de Estados Unidos.
El velero está abierto a los visitantes que quieran hacer un recorrido, del 14 al 16 de junio entre las10:00 a.m. y las 5:00 p.m. y el domingo 17 de junio desde las 10 a.m. hasta las 2:00 p.m. La entrada a esta embarcación es gratuita.

Baltimore es la cuarta ciudad de Estados Unidos que recibe al ARC “Gloria” en su crucero 2012, durante el recorrido del Opsail que este año conmemora el Bicentenario de la Guerra de 1812. El Buque visitó Mayport, Florida; Nueva York y Norfolk, en Virginia. 

El velero, que no sólo representa a la Armada Nacional, sino a todo el pueblo colombiano por sus riquezas artísticas, etnográficas, geográficas, turísticas y comerciales, viene con 167 tripulantes entre los que se encuentran 81 cadetes, de los cuales 10 son mujeres; 25 oficiales, y 61 suboficiales.

El ARC “Gloria”, insignia Nacional, estuvo en Alexandria el año pasado y recibió a toda la colonia colombiana, latinoamericana y estadounidense.
En sus 43 años de servicio, el Buque Gloria ha visitado más de 72 países y ha recorrido más de 744.256 millas náuticas. Ha tocado más de 182 puertos entrenando a los nuevos grumetes, cadetes y oficiales de la Armada. Así mismo, el velero ha navegado 7.215 días.

La embarcación es un velero tipo Bergantín Barca, con una eslora de 67 metros, manga 10.6 metros y un desplazamiento de 1.300 toneladas.
Desde su llegada a Cartagena de Indias en 1968, este velero ha sido el “Buque Escuela” de los marinos de Colombia, donde los futuros oficiales y suboficiales de la Armada Nacional aprenden y practican la navegación costera y astronómica, la operación de equipos modernos de navegación y de comunicaciones, maniobras con velas y cabos, pitadas marineras y en general todas las actividades que se realizan en un buque velero.
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June 14, 2012

Embassy of Colombia

El velero llega este jueves 14 de junio al Puerto de Baltimore, Maryland, junto con 25 embarcaciones de 15 países del mundo que participan en el Desfile Naval Opsail 2012.

June 13, 2012

Huffington Post

By Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary for International Trade

At an early age, I saw how important small – and medium – sized businesses are to the fabric of the Latino community. … Latino businesses – like all American Businesses – have so much to offer. All they need is a fair opportunity to succeed.

June 11, 2012

MSNBC.com

Tomato growers in Colombia celebrate the nation's largest crop at the sixth annual "Tomatina Festival." Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

June 14, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombia’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Sergio Diaz-Granados announced the free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) would be finalized June 26. The announcement came on the heels of the European Parliament’s (EP) statement Wednesday that Colombia and Peru—the other sound American nation included in the agreement-- must improve the human and labor rights situations in their countries before the governing body would sign the deal.

June 13, 2012

Colombia Reports

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed plans Tuesday to build a new naval base on the Pacific island of Tierrabomba, just off the country's coast, replacing a nearby base that had been in operation since 1934.

June 12, 2012

AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday pressed for the rapid implementation of an EU free trade deal with Colombia and Peru, saying it was a good way to foster growth during the eurozone crisis. Speaking after meeting Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Merkel said: "Particularly in a situation where some European countries are having economic difficulties, a free-trade agreement with Colombia and Peru is a good sign to promote growth.

June 28, 2012

New York Times

By Javier Solana

Colombia and Peru are fast approaching the final stages of ratification of a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union. It is a major agreement that offers a bridge for ever-widening relations and commerce between South America and the Union. And in our age of globalization such a bridge is very necessary.