July 18, 2019- News Clips -

This year the Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adriana Mejía, represents Colombia, which recognizes freedom of religion and worship as part of its constitutional tradition. This recognition was reaffirmed as a fundamental right in the 1991 Political Constitution. "This Ministerial Conference is an appropriate space, which Colombia attends with great interest, to address the global challenges to religious freedom, identify ways to address religious persecution and discrimination around the world, and promote greater respect for and preservation of religious freedom for all," said Vice Minister Mejía.



July 16, 2019- News Clips -
U.S. Secretary of State Recognizes Colombia's Great Effort in Fighting the World Drug Problem

Washington (Jul. 16/19).

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged the efforts of President Ivan Duque's government in the fight against drug trafficking, according to Foreign Minister Holmes Trujillo after his meeting with the U.S. official.

"Secretary Pompeo acknowledged President Duque's great effort and the importance of the advances that have been made," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, adding that there was also a detailed dialogue on the situation in Venezuela and the impact of the migration crisis in Colombia.

"It was a truly productive meeting that reflects the magnificent bilateral relationship that exists between the United States and Colombia," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Regarding to the situation in Venezuela, he assured that Secretary Pompeo reiterated the importance of economic and diplomatic sanctions against the Maduro regime. "The proposal is led by Colombia, that the countries of the Lima Group impose more sanctions, focused of course, because it is about imposing sanctions on people affected by the regime, not on the Venezuelan people.

The Minister expressed that these sanctions "have produced a very positive effect in the creation of conditions that lead to a new democracy and freedom in Venezuela".

He added that concern was also expressed about the presence of members of the ELN in Venezuela, since both the United States and Colombia "are countries committed to fighting terrorism and of course the linking of a tyrannical reǵimen such as Maduro to terrorist organizations from different parts of the world, including a Colombian like the ELN, worries us all and is a source of very vigorous rejection.


July 10, 2019- News Clips -
Group of Colombian legislators visit the US to develop an agenda around the fight against drugs and Venezuela’s migratory Crisis

The Congressional group consists of Senators Paloma Valencia (Centro Democratico party), Santiago Valencia (Centro Democratico party), Juan Diego Gomez (Conservative Party), John Milton Rodriguez (Colombia Justa party), Horacio Serpa (Liberal Party), Andres Garcia Zuccardi (U Party ) and representatives Juan Manuel Daza (Centro Democratico party), Juan David Velez (Centro Democratico party), Jose Luis Pinedo (Cambio Radical party), Angela Patricia Sanchez (Cambio Radical party), Cristian Jose Moreno Villamizar (U Party) visit the United States, and their agenda discusses the main points between Colombia and the United States: the strategic security alliance, shared responsibility in the fight against drug trafficking; the implementation of the Peace Accord, ways to strengthen trade and investment ties; the Venezuelan migration crisis, in which Colombia has demonstrated and committed itself to continue acting in solidarity with Venezuelans fleeing the crisis in their country; and other priorities for both countries.

To this end, they are invited by the USIP (United States Institute of Peace) to participate in a private roundtable entitled "Advances and challenges in the fight against drugs".

In addition, as part of the agenda of the group of Colombian legislators they have several meetings with their U.S. colleagues. Among those who stand out are Democratic Senator Diana Feinstein, who is also co-chair of the U.S. Senate Anti-Drug Group; Republicans Francis Rooney and Ted Yoho; and Democrats Albio Sires, Vicente Gonzalez, Adriano Espaillat and Gregory Meerks.

The group also has the opportunity to meet with the Think Tanks.

June 18, 2019- News Clips -

Washington, DC — On Friday, June 21, Colombia’s tall ship and the training ship of the Colombian Navy – the “ARC GLORIA” – will arrive at the Port of Boston in Boston Harbor.

When GLORIA arrives at the port on Friday at 8:00 a.m., all are welcome to come to greet the ship. The three-mast sailing vessel will be in Boston until the afternoon of Monday, June 24. Beginning on Friday, June 21 at 9:00 a.m., local residents will have the opportunity to board and tour GLORIA on the following dates. Admission is free and open to the public.

• Friday, June 21: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

• Saturday, June 22: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

• Sunday, June 23: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

• Monday, June 24: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 am.

The Ambassador of Colombia to the United States Francisco Santos will greet the crew when the ship arrives on Friday.

GLORIA’s visit presents an opportunity for the local community to welcome a special group of young Colombian cadets during their goodwill training cruise and to learn more about Colombian culture. On board, the visiting public will have a chance to meet the crew and learn about Colombia’s naval traditions. Visitors will also have the chance to view a special exhibition of posters and photographs that display Colombian history, heritage and culture, which includes guided narration, available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The exhibition was developed by the Colombian Navy in coordination with PROCOLOMBIA, the country’s official tourism, foreign investment, and export promotion agency.

GLORIA is commanded by Captain Camilo Gutiérrez and manned by a 156-member crew, including cadets who learn and practice coastal and celestial navigation, the operation of modern navigation and communications equipment, maneuvering with sails and ropes and general seamanship. The cadets also learn to work as a team to raise the ship’s 23 sails and brave the world’s seas. Among the crew, there are 6 foreign official guests from Perú, Ecuador, and Mexico as well as some officers from the Colombian Army, Air Force and National Police.

The ship's visit is part of the kick off Colombian bicentennial celebrations. The ship’s flag has proudly waved in more than 200 ports across the globe, carrying with it the pride of the Colombian people, nobility and a message of progress to the world.

June 17, 2019- News Clips -

What you need to know:

The famous stage of The Millennium Stage was created to make the performing arts accessible to all in fulfillment of the Kennedy Center's mission. This stage is completely free of charge, but has a capacity limit. The first to arrive are the first to sit down.

Who will perform and on what dates:

La Marvela: Pura Verbena | Friday, June 21, 2019 – 6:00 PM

“La Marvela (wonderful; extraordinary in Latin) was formed in 2017 by Marly Pérez, Velu Ochoa and Alison Caro, three female Colombian artists seeking a more balanced and equal gender representation in music.”

“Inspired by other female empowerment groups such as the Network of Female Drummers of Colombia (Red de Tamboreras de Colombia), Banda Didá, Batalá Washington, Nidia Góngora among other artists. The band strives to defend and support domestic violence survivors, as well as opening the dialogue between ancestral music and social causes, bringing awareness of the importance of art as a way of expression to call for social change and justice while honoring the ancestral music from the Colombian Caribbean Coast Region.”

Rio Mira | Monday, July 1, 2019 – 6:00 PM

“Co-produced by Grammy® nominee Ivis Flies and Grammy ® winner Ivan Benavides, Rio Mira is a marimba supergroup with Afro-Pacific binational heritage consisting of some of the most in-demand and respected musicians from Colombia and Ecuador. Their music is the sonic rejoining of the region known as El Pacifico Sur, one connected by history, ecology, and culture and divided by the national borders of Ecuador and Colombia.”

Yanga | Tuesday, July 16, 2019 – 6:00 PM

“Yanga (American Musicians Abroad Project), is a manifestation of Colombia’s ever expanding musical influence. Sprouting their own distinct branch on the tree of Caribbean music and culture, Yanga cultivates a new sound rooted in the traditional rhythms of the Caribbean coast of Colombia.”

June 13, 2019- News Clips -

On Wednesday, June 12, Ambassador Francisco Santos met with representatives of Nutresa, Argos, Comestibles DAN, Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá and Invest in Bogotá, who were part of Select USA 2019.
The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. This event offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring together companies from around the world, economic development organizations from every corner and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States.
The participation of this group of Colombian companies in an event of this magnitude is the result of a joint effort by the Embassy of Colombia to the United States and the Colombian Commercial Office team.

June 11, 2019- News Clips -

Cartagena, 08/06/2019 
President Ivan Duque met this Saturday with the Special Envoy of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), Angelina Jolie, and said he hopes her visit to Colombia will serve to alert the world about the magnitude of the migration crisis generated in Venezuela.
The president spoke in Cartagena with the actress and director, who made a two-day visit to the country to learn about the humanitarian response to the migration crisis generated on the border with Venezuela.
"Today we are very happy about her visit, because she is in our country to see up close the migratory crisis that is being experienced as a result of the dictatorship and desolation in Venezuela. But, additionally, she sees the fraternity of our migratory policy and we are very grateful for her presence in Colombia," said the President.
He stated that the presence of the Envoy of UNHCR "allows us all to reflect on the coordination of international aid to confront these phenomena and, of course, we want her visit to Colombia to serve also to alert the world of the seriousness of this situation, but, at the same time, to seek the coordination of the solidarity of the world to assist those people who need comprehensive reflection by States today.
He highlighted that this dialogue dealt with the need to seek "the nationalization of thousands of Venezuelan children in our country, who today do not have a defined migratory situation, and that doing so is a humanitarian way to give them the opportunities and benefits they deserve to get out of this tragedy”.
President Duque, who was accompanied by the Venezuelan Border Manager of the Presidency of the Republic, Felipe Muñoz, and other officials, recalled that Angelina Jolie "has had great leadership in humanitarian causes around the world”
He indicated that despite the fiscal difficulties that the country has had, has demonstrated "a fraternal feeling to attend to the Venezuelan population that has come to our territory”
"And I also want to highlight that in this visit, the Special Envoy has seen the institutional response of the Government, which was reflected in public policy documents and has also been reflected in the instruments that, hand in hand with international migration organizations, have allowed us to show the world that we can regularize and normalize the migration situation with a sense of fraternity," said the President.
Angelina Jolie was appointed Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2012.
Acnur added that the humanitarian representative traveled "to understand the scale of the challenges facing Colombia and other countries that are responding to this unprecedented crisis”.

June 5, 2019- News Clips -

Bogotá, June 4th 2019

The President of the Republic, Ivan Duque, highlighted on Tuesday the growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country, which in the first trimester of 2019 was above 68%, and described it as a sign of optimism and confidence in Colombia.

In this sense, the flow of Foreign Direct Investment between January and March of this year was of US$3.335 million, higher than the US$1.980 million registered in the same period of 2018 and the highest for this period since 2011.

"Today we have received very important news for the country in economic terms. We had a growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country, in the first trimester of the year close to 68%," the President highlighted.

He added that "it is the growth of Foreign Direct Investment in the first quarters, the highest in the last eight years. And this is a message of great confidence in the country.

He also highlighted the good performance of foreign investment in the country's manufacturing sector.

"I want to highlight the growth of Foreign Direct Investment in the manufacturing sector, which exceeded US$500 million. Another important jump compared to the first quarter of 2018," said the president.

According to the Bank of the Republic's Balance of Payments, foreign investment in Oil grew 74.8%, in Mining, 60% and in other sectors, 68.6%.

For Duque, the behavior of FDI in Colombia is a sign of the country's economic reactivation.

"There are clear signs in the Economic Reactivation Law. Why? Because we have lowered the tax burden to make Colombia more competitive against other countries," explained the President, while noting that "in fact the demonstration is also to see how there has been investment in machinery and equipment for this year.

"This shows that it is contributing to a productive transformation and a technological and industrial restructuring," he said.

June 3, 2019- News Clips -

NAFSA is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to education and international exchange. Every year this organization holds a fair to publicize the most popular and an advantageous educational destination in what is already known as the most important educational internationalization event of the year.

In this annual event, the perspectives, differences, learnings and challenges of people dedicated to education around the world are discussed, and the space is also given to propose solutions.

The Embassy of Colombia to the United States hosted this year's welcome reception. Following a key pillar of President Duque – is expanding cooperation between our two countries in education, science, technology and innovation.

The aim is to support these initiatives, in which Colombia is beginning to take the lead, in order to promote collaboration between individuals that has a positive impact on our global collective society.

In this regard, Ambassador Santos said that "These types of events are not only academic experiences, but also promote intercultural knowledge, cooperation and scientific and research development through the advanced training of leaders with a high degree of social commitment.

And for this, "through scholarships, exchanges and field training, we can inspire and cultivate the next generation of young leaders in both countries and fulfill President Duque's goal of making Colombia the most educated country in Latin America," the Ambassador said.

The reception ended with the intervention of the Vice-Minister of Education, Luis Fernando Pérez, where he invited the participants to look at the new advances in education that the country is making and to consider Colombia as its next educational destination.

May 23, 2019- News Clips -

The purpose is to establish a new level of security cooperation to effectively combat transnational crime and other threats to border security, as well as to facilitate legitimate travel and trade between the two countries.

Bogotá, May 22, 2019.

The DIAN and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, signed on Wednesday a memorandum of understanding to improve security between the two countries.

This instrument will raise the levels of effectiveness in the detection and surveillance of criminal networks and cross-border criminal activities, through the exchange and analysis of cargo manifest and means of transport.

In addition, a mechanism will be established for the review and evaluation of information in order to identify possible risks and threats to the national security of both countries, including transnational criminal activities.

The Director of the DIAN, José Andrés Romero, indicated that "with this cooperation, the United States and Colombia will benefit in the identification and tracking of cargo, transportation and companies that may represent a risk, as well as being involved in transnational crimes.”.

As for the U.S. Embassy in Colombia expressed its interest in continuing to work with DIAN on advisory, detection, facilitation, exchange and training programs.

For the U.S. Government, the signing of this agreement represents a major step forward in the joint effort and cooperation on security to effectively combat transnational crime and other threats to border security.

May 15, 2019- News Clips -

Bogotá, May 15, 2019


The National Government respects the Constitution and, therefore, the separation of powers. However, we share the indignation of the Colombian people for the decision of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) to order the release of the syndicate for drug trafficking in the United States, alias 'Jesus Santrich'.

The accused 'Santrich' was captured by orders of the Attorney General's Office for the purpose of extradition for the commission of the crime of drug trafficking on April 9, 2018. As indicated by the Attorney General, there is conclusive and unequivocal evidence with respect to to the commission of the crime of drug trafficking after December 1, 2016.

Recidivism in drug trafficking crimes or any other criminal behavior is an attack on the victims and the entire country and, therefore, sanctions must be applied that respond forcefully to legality and justice.

Two of the objections for inconvenience that I presented to the Congress of the Republic, related to the weakening of extradition, seek to avoid this type of outcome that today outrages us. Acting with the Constitution in hand and defending legality and the Rule of Law, as well as strengthening international judicial cooperation, were some of the reasons why we presented objections to the Statutory Law of the JEP.

The National Government supports the decision of the Procurator General of the Nation to appeal the decision, because we are not dealing with a closed case. All the institutions of the State will guarantee the application of justice, judicial cooperation, and all the tools at their disposal so that there is no impunity will be used.

I regret the resignation of the Attorney General of the Nation, with whom we have worked with determination in the fight against crime and corruption, and who with all his team have been defenders of the Social State of Law.

I will preserve above all the institutional strenght of our country. I call on the political parties to carry out the necessary reforms that will allow us to close the doors to drug trafficking, to impunity, and to strengthen extradition as one of the mechanisms that have proven effective in the fight against transnational criminals.

As President of the Republic, I have been, am and will always be ready to sign the extradition of alias 'Jesus Santrich' and of any other accused for drug trafficking, in accordance with the Constitution and the Law. The genuine truth, the genuine justice, the Genuine reparation and the genuine guarantee of non-repetition of the victims would be at risk in case of tolerating criminal recidivism. Justice must always be, always, at the service of the victims and not of the perpetrators.

Drug trafficking in Colombia represents a serious disturbance of public order that threatens institutional stability in different regions of the country. The killings of social leaders, the influence of cartels in vulnerable regions, the expansion of illicit crops, and the weakening of tools such as extradition are threats that we will face with all the options offered by the Constitution.

I want it to be clear to all the Colombian people that our country will not cohabitate with drug trafficking.

May 9, 2019- News Clips -

May 09, 2019

The U.S. Government issued a notice announcing that it will allow access to Colombian Pepper Fruit. This was announced by the Ministers of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Restrepo, and Agriculture and Rural Development, Andres Valencia, who detailed that this process leaves the country one step closer from completing the admissibility for the product in the American market.

This way, after almost 4 years of joint work with the Government of the United States and articulated between the Ministries of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and of Agriculture, of the Embassy of Colombia in the U.S.A., the ICA and ProColombia, this achievement has been reached, which is one more step in the strategy of taking advantage of trade agreements, which is part of the Government's Trade Policy.

Minister Valencia Pinzón stressed that this is a great achievement of the Colombian Sanitary Diplomacy for continuing to open markets and opportunities to take food harvested in the Colombian countryside abroad.

"We expect the demand for Pepper Fruit to increase exponentially with the opening of the market of the United States, which is the main buyer worldwide," said Valencia.

For his part, Minister José Manuel Restrepo said that "we will no doubt continue to move towards the goal we have set for ourselves of increasing the country's exports of non-mining energy goods and services by 2022. The United States is a market with great potential that in 2018 imported from the world US$ 1.279 billion in Pepper Fruit, 73.7% bought it from Mexico. So it opens up a huge opportunity for Colombian producers”.

It is important to note that the second largest supplier of Pepper Fruit to the United States is Canada, which participates with 19.4% of these imports.

Now, for 60 days, this notification will be open for public consultation. If after this time there are no comments, the Colombian Pepper Fruit will obtain admissibility in the United States, as soon as the country accredits compliance with the requirements of the export operational plan agreed upon by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States (Aphis).

President Ivan Duque's Sanitary Diplomacy Strategy, the technical work of the Colombian sanitary authority and the articulation of the Ministries of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and Agriculture, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Embassy of Colombia in the United States, allowed to dynamize a process of more than four years that leaves the country one step from the most important market for this product.

Last year Colombia exported US$178,285.4 in Pepper Fruit, which represented an increase of 47.8% compared to 2017. Curaçao and Aruba are the main destinations for these exports. In the first two months of this year, the country exported US$ 22,878.3.

Antioquia, Santander, Norte de Santander and Valle del Cauca are the main producing areas of Pepper Fruit in the country, and should be prepared to meet the standards required by the United States and take this opportunity that opens up for this product.

In addition, La Guajira will be another benefited department, since the idea is to promote national and foreign investment in the establishment of crops in controlled environments with a view to taking advantage of this opportunity.

May 8, 2019- News Clips -

Washington D.C., May 2019

The Vice President of the Republic, Marta Lucía Ramírez, met with the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick M. Shanahan, with whom she ratified the commitment that the two nations have had to fight against drug trafficking in the region and the support for the Venezuelan people in the midst of the political and economic crisis that this South American country is going through.

The common objective of this cooperation that has been given for many years is to defeat the drug trafficking that is the source of income of criminal groups "that have affected us and that also affects the stability in our region. We know that in Venezuela we have this criminal regime that is protecting members of terrorist groups from different countries with drug trafficking and illegal mining, and this mixture is really bad for us and for democracy.

In this meeting that was part of the Vice President agenda for the United States, the official pointed out that "in Colombia, we have the same concerns, not only for Venezuela, we have concerns about the criminal regime that exercises public functions without being a government, because it is clear to us that they are not an elected government, they did not take power through democracy and they are there not only for the support of some Venezuelan military, but also for support from abroad.

He pointed out that for Colombia; this is an issue of security and stability because "the future of our democracy, of our values, is at stake. This is serious because it is not a short-term vision of the problem; it is a long-term vision of the stability of our democracy and institutions not only for Colombia but for the entire region. That's why we thank the United States for its support.

Secretary Shanahan thanked Vice President Ramírez for the willingness and support that Colombia has been providing to confront the Venezuelan crisis and praised the military cooperation that has taken place between the two countries, stressing that each day is stronger than ever.

Finally, senior officials announced that the USNS Comfort will be in Colombia in June to assist Venezuelan migrants and refugees who migrate from their country to neighboring nations.

May 8, 2019- News Clips -


Washington, D.C. May 2019

Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Vice President Pence highlighted the strength of the relationship between Colombia and the United States and Colombia's role as a key strategic partner in the Western Hemisphere.

Both leaders highlighted the substantial and successful meetings of the Lima Group, as well as the efforts and leadership of the United States and Colombia to achieve the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

Vice Presidents Pence and Ramirez highlighted the illegitimate nature of Maduro's regime and called on him to respect the will of the Venezuelan people and understand that his time has run out.

Vice President Pence and Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez committed to strengthening bilateral relations across a broad range of policy issues, including the fight against drugs, defense issues, security, investment and humanitarian support.

They reaffirmed their willingness to develop concrete actions that can be taken to eliminate the scourge of illicit drugs that continually fuel violence and corruption in the region.

April 24, 2019- News Clips -

Today, April 24, 2019, Ambassador Francisco Santos traveled to Cúcuta as part of his tour with U.S. congressmen to show them how the Venezuelan crisis is affecting children on the border.
The Ambassador and Senator Rick Scott visited the La Frontera educational institution where about 1,600 children study, of which 1,400 are Venezuelans. Senator Scott had the opportunity to see firsthand the difficult situation that thousands of people are going through because of the dictatorship in the neighboring country.  
“These children struggle every day to receive the education they can no longer receive in Venezuela, even having to cross dangerous rivers to attend a classroom. Carrying their notebooks over their heads so that they do not get wet, the children arrive at the educational institution to receive classes” asserted Ambassador Santos.
Financing education in the midst of the crisis is difficult, but Colombia is doing its best to be able to help from these types of institutions. From the solidarity and commitment that we have with our Venezuelan brothers.

April 2, 2019- News Clips -

Ambassador Santos began the week by holding a video conference with Colombia's 12 consulates throughout the United States. This meeting took place from the conference room of the Colombian Embassy in Washington DC, and seeks to give an account of the progress being made on consular issues in this country.
Another important event that took place in these days was the meeting that the ambassador had with the Minister of Culture Carmen Vasquez and the executives of the Smithsonian, which began a project that seeks to build a museum that pays tribute to Afro culture in Cali.
In Addition, the Ambassador had a meeting with Congressman Adriano Espaillat, U.S. Democrat Representative for New York's 13th congressional district and the first formerly illegal immigrant to ever serve in Congress, which sought to continue increasing bipartisan support to Colombia.
On the same day, there was also talk of continuing the search for the U.S. Congress to focus on support for the region, with Democrat Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Who is Ecuadorian-born American politician who is a member of the United States House of Representatives and won an election to represent Florida's congressional district.
The ambassador closes the week in Cúcuta, with U.S. congressmen Eliot Engel, Jerry Nadler, Michael McCaul, Adriano Espaillat, Zoe Lofgren, Pramila Jayapal and John Curtis, in order to help end the dictatorship of neighboring Venezuela.
For his part, the embassy closed its week with two events; the first, a talk with Andres Patiño, finance specialist, who gave some tips on how to file taxes in the United States. And the second, a new consular section called "Historias de vida" that had as its star guest the famous vallenato musician Juancho de la Espriella, who told his beginnings in musical life and delighted the audience with Colombian folkloric melodies.

March 28, 2019- News Clips -

With Minister for Culture  Carmen Vásquez we seek to build a museum that pays tribute to the history of Afro culture in Colombia. We already started this project, today we were reunited with the Smithsonian. Let's go ahead with our Colombia Agenda": Embassador Francisco Santos

March 27, 2019- News Clips -

Bogotá, March 26, 2019

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, made this Tuesday a recognition to the mayors of the country by the way they have taken care of the challenges of the migratory crisis coming from Venezuela.

"We want to recognize the mayors of Colombia for the way they have been dealing with the challenges posed to us, at the local, regional and international levels, by the migratory crisis coming from Venezuela," said the Minister.

He added that the mayors "have responded to the demands of Venezuelan migrants by turning to their own budgets, to their own administrative organization. They have responded to these demands by appealing to the sensitivity of the inhabitants of the different cities of Colombia, which is why I want, on the name of President Duque, to give them the recognition they deserve," he said.

He stated that "the right way to face the demands of this migratory crisis is to work together in a coordinated way".

"We have made reflections on the short-term perspectives, since we must be prepared to continue attending with the same humanitarian criteria, solidarity and historical gratitude, that migratory flow that has been done so far," said the head of Colombian diplomacy.

March 22, 2019- News Clips -

Brussels, Belgium, March 20, 2019.

The North Atlantic Council approved the admission of the International Demining Center of Colombia (Cides) to the Community of Alliances Training and Education Centres of NATO (Ptec).

With this recognition, Cides of Colombia becomes the 33rd center in the world to belong to this select group, which since 1999 has played an essential role in supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by offering multiple courses and training to allies and partners.

As part of the Ptec community, Cides will contribute to the education and training of NATO nations' personnel and partners in the crucial area of humanitarian and military demining.

In 2018, the Ptec trained nearly 50,000 people and conducted about 1,300 courses. In addition, the community organized about 200 mobile training teams.

Recognition process

In October 2018, a team of multifunctional experts from NATO visited the International Demining Centre in Tolemaida, Colombia to assess their suitability for inclusion in the Alliance's Community of Training and Education Centers.

The team concluded that recognition of Cides would contribute positively to the education and training of allied personnel and NATO partners in humanitarian and military demining.

NATO dictated that Colombia can contribute this capacity in favor of peace and global security.

Finally, on March 6, 2019, it was agreed to send the Colombian proposal to the Council for final approval.

Colombia in NATO

Colombia has been a 'global partner' of NATO since 2017 and the only one of that organization in Latin America.

On October 23, President Ivan Duque met in Brussels with the Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, and one of the issues discussed was demining.

On that occasion, President Duque said that Colombia has made significant progress in this area and thanked NATO "for the support it has given us so that we can have our demining facilities certified".

March 15, 2019- News Clips -

President Ivan Duque said today that foreign investors want to come to Colombia because this country "respects private initiative and because there is a government that believes in the rule of law, in entrepreneurship to generate equity.
This affirmation was made by the President when he intervened in the closing of the General Assembly of the American Business Council (CEA), which includes U.S. firms that have been operating in Colombia for 100, 70 and 60 years.
Duque emphasized that his administration "believes in the private sector and believes with motivation. It is not like in other times, when the sense of defense of the private sector was with a shameful spirit.
"I believe in private initiative, I believe in free competition, I believe in the development of capital markets," he stressed.
He also expressed his desire to see "more Colombian companies going public. I want to see more public companies going abroad. I want to have more and more consolidated spaces and markets.
In that order of ideas, the President indicated that "we ask the Government of the United States all the support so that our products have more accessibility in that market, in shorter times", in such a way "that they allow us to consolidate more exports".
He pointed out that with the administration of President Donald Trump "not only do we share democratic values in Latin America, to denounce the outrages of the dictatorship in Venezuela, but we understand that the fight against drugs is a shared, co-responsible fight.
In this line, he indicated that the two governments must simultaneously continue "deepening a bilateral agenda, in which trade, investment, science, technology, energy, play a preponderant role.
He said that the relationship between Colombia and the United States "shows that it is structured with companies that have established their bases in Colombian territory and that already have, some, 100 years; others 75; others 50.
He noted that such companies have strengthened from that "relationship that we have historic and that is bipartisan, in the United States, and has been multi-party, in Colombia. Because we share values, the value of democracy; because we share the value of a market economy; because we understand that it is through freedoms and an economy with healthy competition that the future is built.
Finally, President Duque emphasized his intention to bring to the country companies that contribute to the generation of quality jobs.
"I will not tire of telling everyone who wants to invest in our country, with the best standards, that it has a government to facilitate and help their investment translate into more formal and decent jobs in Colombia," he said.

March 14, 2019- News Clips -

The President of the Republic, Iván Duque, presented the National Pavilion this Wednesday to the one hundred musicians of the Filarmónica Joven who travel to Europe in a tour of presentations.

"If we bring music to the children of our country, and we get more children to have a violin and not a rifle, we are really able to consolidate a country with peace and harmony," said the President when he received the young performers at the Casa de Nariño.

He pointed out that for Colombians "to see the Filarmónica Joven of our country arrive in Europe, in this very important circuit, is a reason for pride and admiration".

And he said to the young musicians: "Each one of you, when you have your instrument, I want you to receive today's message: we are 48 million Colombians applauding you and telling you; thank you for doing the best for this country, thank you for holding Colombia's name high.

He said he believes deeply in culture and added that this area is his obsession every day, for which the government has to be characterized by promoting creative industries.

He reiterated that "culture does not have a political color, culture is neither left nor right, nor does it have a partisan color. Culture is something that must unite us, and we must all do what we can to make it great," he said.

In presenting the Pavilion and a badge to each musician, President Duque said he felt as proud as when in the same hall he has dismissed the Olympic delegations or awarded the great Colombian sportsmen.

"You represent the best of our country. And when I say 'the best', I mean talent, I mean desire, I mean capacity, I mean charisma, emotion, the ability to transmit beyond the sonority of an instrument," he said.

The representatives of La Joven, as the orchestra is known, will perform in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, conducted by the outstanding Colombian maestro Andrés Orozco Estrada.

The musicians, aged between 16 and 24 and coming from all regions of Colombia, will offer a series of concerts from March 21 to 31.

The President of the Republic, Iván Duque, presented the National Pavilion this Wednesday to the one hundred musicians of the Filarmónica Joven who travel to Europe in a tour of presentations.

"If we bring music to the children of our country, and we get more children to have a violin and not a rifle, we are really able to consolidate a country with peace and harmony," said the President when he received the young performers at the Casa de Nariño.

He pointed out that for Colombians "to see the Filarmónica Joven of our country arrive in Europe, in this very important circuit, is a reason for pride and admiration".

And he said to the young musicians: "Each one of you, when you have your instrument, I want you to receive today's message: we are 48 million Colombians applauding you and telling you; thank you for doing the best for this country, thank you for holding Colombia's name high.

He said he believes deeply in culture and added that this area is his obsession every day, for which the government has to be characterized by promoting creative industries.

He reiterated that "culture does not have a political color, culture is neither left nor right, nor does it have a partisan color. Culture is something that must unite us, and we must all do what we can to make it great," he said.

In presenting the Pavilion and a badge to each musician, President Duque said he felt as proud as when in the same hall he has dismissed the Olympic delegations or awarded the great Colombian sportsmen.

"You represent the best of our country. And when I say 'the best', I mean talent, I mean desire, I mean capacity, I mean charisma, emotion, the ability to transmit beyond the sonority of an instrument," he said.

The representatives of La Joven, as the orchestra is known, will perform in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, conducted by the outstanding Colombian maestro Andrés Orozco Estrada.

The musicians, aged between 16 and 24 and coming from all regions of Colombia, will offer a series of concerts from March 21 to 31.

March 13, 2019- News Clips -
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo presented to the UN Secretary General the objections made by the National Government to six of the 159 articles of the draft Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).  

New York, March 12, 2019.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo met this Tuesday in New York with António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), to explain in detail the decision taken recently by President Ivan Duque to object to six of the 159 articles of the draft Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
"I explained in great detail our institutional structure, in the sense that it is a faculty of the President of the Republic (...). Its purpose is for Congress to debate the articles that were objected to so that they can finally take the corresponding decisions," said the Minister.
He emphasized that "it is not, in any way, a train crash; it is about strengthening the Special Jurisdiction for Peace to guarantee the victims' rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition.
The head of the Foreign Relations portfolio reported that Secretary Guterres listened to his explanation with particular attention and great interest: "It is a unique opportunity to build a great institutional consensus around transitional justice. I invited him in his capacity as Secretary-General to contribute to the building of that consensus.
In statements to the media, he added that tomorrow, Wednesday, he will dialogue with the members of the UN Security Council on the same issue.
"I will explain in detail the President's decision and I will also invite you to continue supporting the implementation effort that President Duque is making," he said.

March 13, 2019- News Clips -

Given the information that is circulating through some international media in which it is suggested that the National Government manipulated a video in which it is observed how a truck is burned with humanitarian aid on the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, last February 23, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Migración  Colombia are allowed to clarify that:


The video shows only a few minutes of the more than 8 hours of recording of the incidents that occurred on the Francisco de Paula Santander and Simón Bolívar International Bridges, as a consequence of the refusal of the usurper Nicolás Maduro to let the trucks move freely with humanitarian aid. 


The video clearly shows that the events occurred once the trucks had entered Venezuelan territory, after the attacks by the Bolivarian National Guard against the civilian population participating in this process.


We would like to reiterate that the process of collecting humanitarian aid that Colombia carried out was transparent. For this reason, and guaranteeing the right to inform and be informed, we allowed the access of all the media, who so desired, to the passage of humanitarian aid through the International Bridges, during the whole day of Saturday, February 23, with which they were able to evidence, themselves, the reality of what happened.


The National Government does not need to manipulate videos or any information so that the world knows the injustices committed by the usurper Maduro against his own people, since more than 4 million Venezuelans who have had to leave their country can give an account of them.


Bogotá, March 12, 2019

March 6, 2019- News Clips -

In what would be the 92nd birthday of the Nobel laureate in literature, Gabriel García Márquez, Netflix has announced that the book One Hundred Years of Solitude will become a series.
One Hundred Years of Solitude reaches the screens through the streaming Company Netflix, which has obtained the rights to this masterpiece of universal literature. The project has the authorization and participation of the sons of the Nobel, Rodrigo Garcia and Gonzalo Garcia, who will act as executive producers.
Finally it will be possible to give a face to the iconic Buendía family, who has come to all parts of the world to fill the minds of their readers with magical realism.
The project fulfills the two indispensable requests of the Nobel family; to be recorded in Colombia and in Spanish. Well, according to Gabo, this was the only way in which one could really transmit what the piece means.
It is hoped that this will be the way to make other facets of the country known, and that culture and roots will take center stage worldwide.

March 4, 2019- News Clips -

The announcement of the race was made by Ernesto Lucena, director of Coldeportes, during his intervention in the Workshop Building Country, headed by the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque. 

"The good news is that, with the excellent development of Tour Colombia 2.1 in Antioquia this year, we have collaborated with the Colombian Cycling Federation so that in 2020, honoring all cycling in Boyacá, we have this competition here in Boyacá in February 2020," said the director of Coldeportes, Ernesto Lucena, and pointed out that the goal of the entity is "to take it all over the country," in reference to the Tour.

February 27, 2019- News Clips -

During a ceremony held this Tuesday at the Casa de Nariño, the Executive President of the Colombian Chamber of Books, Enrique González Villa, announced that the Bogota International Book Fair (FILBo) will pay a special tribute to our country this year, on the occasion of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Republic of Colombia.


"We wanted Colombia to be the guest of honor for this 32nd version of the Bogotá International Book Fair. Our goal is that the Fair be the ideal space to celebrate this event as a great public forum on values and principles," said the director of the Colombian Chamber of Books.


He explained that this initiative will be based on four principles: sovereignty, citizenship, independence and equality, which seek to "offer Colombians the opportunity to rewrite, rethink, reinterpret our history and envision other ways of conceiving and building the country, assuming the celebration of the Bicentennial as the celebration of the Republic.


"Because if we know better what our process has been, we are going to value Colombia much more, we are going to have a sense of self-esteem and self-esteem that this country needs a lot. And what better way than to do it precisely in this Book Fair, Colombia being the guest country," he said.


You are the guest country'.


'Read it. The guest country is you' is the thematic core that will frame the activities of the Fair in 2019, which this year will have the participation of more than 500 national and international guests in more than 1,700 events of literary, cultural and academic programming.


Commemoration of the Bicentennial from MinCultura


The homage paid by FILBo 2019 to the 200 years of Independence is added to the activities programmed by the Ministry of Culture around this celebration and the promotion of reading among Colombians.


"The FILBo is an opportunity to promote access to reading and to meet again around our common history. With the National Development Plan we proposed to create more spaces that ensure early access to culture and reading in the territories," said Culture Minister Carmen Inés Vásquez.


About FILBo


The FILBo is an event that socially and economically revitalizes the country through culture. Its importance lies in the direct influence on the production, circulation and consumption of different contents: science, literature, history, music, art, gastronomy, cinema, music, among others.


This event is organized by the Colombian Chamber of Books and Corferias. The main ally is the Mayor's Office of Bogotá, within the framework of the District Plan for Reading and Writing 'Leer es Volar', and has the support of the Ministry of Culture, through the National Cultural Concertation Program. 


The Pavilion is possible thanks to the initiative of the National Government, through the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and the Mayor's Office of Bogota, entities that, together with the Colombian Chamber of Books and Corferias, have managed to materialize this project that seeks to generate in the visitors to the FILBo an experience of citizenship, going through the historical transfer of the Republic.

February 27, 2019- News Clips -

In dialogue with the media, the President denied that the efforts of Colombia and countries seeking a way out of the situation in Venezuela, pursue a military intervention, and noted that the message sent yesterday by the foreign ministers of the nations that make up the Lima Group, was to seek alternatives to solve the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.


In fact, he recalled that there is an international awareness of the migration crisis generated by the situation in Venezuela, which he described as "unparalleled in the recent history of Latin America".


He stated that many nations of the world are aware of the effort that Colombia and other countries have made "to attend to those migrants who are leaving their country, product of the dictatorship; with hunger and diseases".


 Duque commented that "there is still a great international emotion to continue seeking channels for the delivery of humanitarian aid," and Colombia continues to be willing to facilitate the logistics so that such aid reaches the Venezuelan people and that, "to the extent of our capabilities, we will continue to receive and store it.


He expressed the hope that the international community, with the participation of Colombia, will find a mechanism that will allow humanitarian aid to reach its destination and that "those dark events of the weekend will not be seen again.


He recalled that "barbarism and violence sought to prevent - at all costs - Venezuelans themselves from crossing into their country and bringing food and medicine to their loved ones.



February 26, 2019- News Clips -

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, members of the Lima Group, committed to contribute to the democratic transition process and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela:

1. Condemn the deliberate actions of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro that, without taking into account the suffering of the population or the insistent demands of the international community, have impeded, on February 23, the entry of basic necessities and international assistance, through acts of violent repression that caused multiple injuries and deaths on the Colombian and Brazilian border, all of which has aggravated the risk to the lives, dignity and integrity of Venezuelans.

2. Express their solidarity with the Venezuelan people and recognize their valor and courage in their struggle to restore democracy, and reiterate the commitment of the Lima Group to continue to actively support it in this effort.

3. Condemn the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro before the international community for intentionally subjecting Venezuelans and, in particular, the most vulnerable population, to a systematic deprivation of food and medicines, and access to basic services, in order to perpetuate themselves in power.

4. Express their gratitude for the humanitarian assistance placed at Venezuela’s disposal, and condemn the indiscriminate violence used by the security forces and armed groups at the service of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to obstruct its distribution and to impede the full exercise of the

rights and freedoms of Venezuelans. Consequently, they will collaborate to bring those responsible for such acts to justice .

5. Request the International Criminal Court to take into consideration the serious humanitarian situation in Venezuela, the criminal violence of the Nicolás Maduro regime against the civilian population, and the denial of access to international assistance, that constitute a crime against humanity, in the proceedings it is conducting by virtue of the request submitted by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru on September 27, 2018, and subsequently endorsed by Costa Rica and France, and welcomed by Germany.

6. Decide to promote the designation by the United Nations Human Rights Council of an independent expert or an investigation commission on the situation in Venezuela, in response to the deep concern over "serious human rights violations in a context of a political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis" in that country, as stated in Resolution A/HRC/RES/39/1 "Promotion and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" of 26 September 2018. And they reiterate their call to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond promptly to the situation in that country, prior to the presentation of her comprehensive report at the 41th session of the Human Rights Council.

7. Declare the irreversible character of their commitment to the democratic transition and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction in Venezuela, stressing that the permanence of Nicolás Maduro and his illegitimate regime in power represents an unprecedented threat to security, peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the region, wherefore they are promoting a discussion of the current situation in that country in the United Nations Security Council, and will continue to address it in the Organization of American States. Likewise, these governments will advance direct negotiations with the Secretary-General of the United Nations so that, in accordance with their capabilities, promotes the activation of the United Nations System in relation to what is happening in Venezuela.

8. Express their satisfaction at the growing number of States that have recognized the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, and call on those States and the international community as a whole to join the Lima Group in its commitment to democratic transition and the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance by adhering to the Ottawa Declaration for Venezuela.

In this regard, they decide to intensify the efforts of the Lima Group at an international level by establishing all the necessary contacts and coordination, including special missions, to publicize the efforts and actions that the Group has undertaken to help restore democracy and constitutional order in Venezuela.

9. Resolve to maintain permanent coordination with the representatives of the government of Interim President, Juan Guaidó, both in their bilateral relations as well as in the international organizations to which they belong and the multilateral fora in which they participate, with a view to the return of democracy, economic reconstruction and immediate attention to the humanitarian crisis. Therefore, they will promote their recognition as legitimate representatives of Venezuela in international organizations and multilateral coordination mechanisms.

10. Decide to proceed with the recognition of the representatives of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, in accordance with their internal procedures.

11. Reiterate their call to all members of the National Armed Force to recognize the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, as their Commander in Chief, and exhort them to, in remaining faithful to their constitutional mandate of being at the exclusive service of the Nation and not of a person, cease to serve as instruments of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro for the oppression of the Venezuelan people and the systematic violation of their human rights.

12. Exhort the members of the Judicial Branch and the Venezuelan Justice System, including those who have been irregularly designated as such, to recognize the legitimate authority of the National Assembly and of the Interim President, Juan Guaidó, and to respect the full exercise of their constitutional powers, in order to facilitate the democratic transition and the reestablishment of the rule of law in Venezuela.

13. Call on those nations that still maintain cooperation ties with the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro to facilitate the search for solutions that pave the way to the process of democratic transition and the convening of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.

14. Offer their firm support to the Agreement for the Promotion of the Rescue Plan for the Country, adopted by the National Assembly on January 29. In this regard, they express their willingness to convene an international conference, and will request the Inter-American Development Bank to lead in lending assistance to the legitimate Venezuelan authorities in the implementation of the institutional and economic reforms they deem necessary to reactivate the economy and offer opportunities for social progress for all Venezuelans.

15. Reaffirm the right of all Venezuelans to live in democracy and freedom, and therefore reiterate their support for holding of free and fair elections, open to the participation of all political forces, with international accompaniment and observers, organized by a neutral and legitimately constituted electoral authority. In order for these new democratic elections to be held, they demand the immediate exit of Nicolas Maduro and the cessation of the usurpation, respecting the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó.

16. Reiterate their belief that the transition to democracy must be conducted by Venezuelans themselves peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution and international law, supported by political and diplomatic means, without the use of force.

17. Agree to reaffirm and follow up on measures previously adopted by the Lima Group; offer their full support to the design and implementation of the electoral calendar to be established by the National Assembly and the Interim President, Juan Guaidó; and to stress to the international community the urgency of allowing the entry of humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people.

18. Welcome the offer of the Government of the Republic of Chile to host the next meeting of the Lima Group on a date to be determined.

Bogotá, February 25, 2019

February 25, 2019- News Clips -

In his intervention before the group of chancellors, presidents and vice-presidents who attended the meeting of the 14 member countries of the Lima Group, President Duque asked to strengthen the diplomatic siege against the regime and provide greater legitimacy to the interim President, Guaidó, and the National Assembly.

"What we expect from this meeting is Not only that the diplomatic encirclement continues to be strengthened, which we have to do, but also that we take actions and decisions sanctioning the dictator and give greater legitimacy and power to the National Assembly and to the President in charge (of Venezuela)," the President said.

He also asked the OAS to adopt measures against the dictatorship, following the events presented over the weekend.

"Today we must call on the Organization of American States to also adopt the relevant resolutions, sanctions and accusations for what happened this weekend," in the border area of Colombia and Venezuela, in Norte de Santander, where there were serious abuses of regime forces to prevent volunteers from bringing humanitarian aid to their country.

During the same speech, the Colombian President asked this multilateral body to call on the Venezuelan Armed Forces to give allegiance to the National Assembly and to the President in charge, Guaidó.

"Lima Group calls for the activation of the domino effect on the part of the Armed Forces, giving them their loyalty to the National Assembly," reiterated President Duque.

Finally, he urged the Lima Group "that this meeting must serve to make the encirclement more powerful, more effective and allow for the rapid construction of the transition that the people of Venezuela are looking for".