The recently appointed U.S. special envoy to Colombian peace talks met with government and rebel negotiators for the first time on Sunday, holding separate sessions with each side, a Colombian government official said. President Barack Obama named veteran diplomat Bernard Aronson as special envoy on Feb. 20. It was Washington's second major engagement with Latin America after reversing longstanding Cuba policy on Dec. 17, agreeing to restore diplomatic ties and end half a century of confrontation with the communist-led island.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg traveled to Colombia on Wednesday to bring his global Internet-access initiative to Latin America. In an event with President Juan Manuel Santos, the billionaire explained how even low-end mobile phone users in Colombia will now be able to access for free a limited number of websites thanks to a partnership with a local cellular phone provider, Tigo.
Colombia plans to boost capacity at its main airport in Bogota by as much as 50 percent over the next two years, to ease delays and overcrowding amid a surge in international travel. The Andean nation grew at the fastest pace among major Latin American economies last year, boosting Colombians’ demand for tourism and business travel. At the same time, the number of foreigners arriving rose 11 percent as violence levels fell to a three-decade low.
A report issued Feb. 1 by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service found: Colombia grows 20,000 acres of flowers. Around 17,500 acres are cultivated under greenhouse conditions while the remaining 2,500 acres are produced outdoors, under rain-fed conditions.
Paulina Vega is the first Colombian beauty queen to don the Miss Universe crown in 56 years, and she said she hopes to help her home country during her reign. The Barranquilla-born business student stopped by HuffPost Live on Friday to chat about her win and more. After the segment, Vega, 22, spoke to The Huffington Post about her desire to visit Colombia during her year as Miss Universe and what causes she’d like to help out with there.
Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega, was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday night, while Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, came in second. The other finalists, chosen from among 88 contestants, were Miss Jamaica, Kaci Fennell; Miss Ukraine, Diana Harkusha; and Miss Netherlands, Yasmin Verheijen.
Colombia has much to brag about — cutting poverty by half, doubling international air connections and quadrupling the size of its economy since 2000 — but these are just byproducts of its crowning achievement over the last two decades: defeating organized crime with the help of the United States, the country’s ambassador said in Atlanta.
… Tourism is also rising, and the government has adopted the phrase “magical realism” to promote it (see colombia.travel/en). Magical realism is usually associated with the literature of Colombia’s pre-eminent writer, the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But it also describes what I saw here, including pink dolphins in the Amazon.
Fourth generation connections to the Internet increased 275 percent between January and September 2014, totaling 808,762 subscriptions, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry said.
Chile and Colombia are the leaders in entrepreneurship, according to a new study that compares startup activity and attitudes in 44 countries across the globe.
A project is being carried out in Colombia to assess the feasibility of building a papaya packing house in the Cordoba region with the ultimate goal of increasing foreign trade.
… Tourism is also rising, and the government has adopted the phrase "magical realism" to promote it. Magical realism is usually associated with the literature of Colombia's pre-eminent writer, the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But it also describes what I saw here, from pink dolphins in the Amazon to Medellin's dazzling Christmas lights.
After years of prioritizing fossil fuels, Colombia looks set to embrace the renewable energy sector. In an interview with BNamericas, local consultancy Integral said the renewables industry would be led by small hydropower plants, despite regulatory obstacles.
The businessmen from the Valle del Cauca invested heavily in machinery and in the latest technology equipment for growing fruits like pineapple in the region. The investment will be used to improve the pineapple for export's harvesting, transporting and postharvest processes.
Car sharing in Colombia is becoming easier with an app created by the Fuimonos company that can be used on computers and smart phones, helping offer and hiring rides around Bogota. "Fuimonos is a Colombian enterprise, the result of the fusion of three companies working toward the same goal: lead people to share their car rides in this country," the project's founder, Diego Garzon, told Colombia.inn, an EFE-operated news agency.
Colombia and Panama will have the best macroeconomic performance in Latin America this year, while Venezuela and Argentina will have the worst, according to a Latinvex analysis of new estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
… Cai, who is actually 30, is in a rush because she and her four other partners are out to build businesses through venture capital, but not Silicon Valley Cool. Her Colombia firm, Polymath Ventures, is all at the unglamorous end of the business, searching for ways to build scalable companies and services in underserved markets for Latin America’s emerging middle class. After our chat, Cai bolts from the two stories of tight office space atop a motorbike garage in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Colombia’s capital of Bogota. I tag along. Her next meeting? At an operations center of the firm’s first venture: a taxi garage. Cai says Polymath aims for every venture to succeed. “Our threshold is: If we do not think we can build a billion-dollar business in a 15- to 20-year time frame, we don’t do it,” she tells OZY.
Medellin for Christmas vacation? Si, si! The city once wracked by drug violence has undergone massive social and economic transformation, and it’s now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that veil churches, buildings, parks and even the Medellin River with glittering cascades of color.
Tell people you're vacationing in Colombia and some react like you're going to a war zone. Is it safe, they ask. But as Colombians are quick to point out, this country is very different from a generation ago. Pablo Escobar — the notorious drug kingpin who presided over a reign of violence — has been dead for over 20 years. Colombia still faces challenges, but it's made enormous social and economic strides.
Ten years ago, the idea that Colombia would become a burgeoning hub for any dynamic industry beyond its notorious drug trade would have struck most observers as far-fetched. As recently as the turn of the century, conventional wisdom had it that the tropical, Andean nation was on the verge of becoming a failed state. Fast forward to the present day and Colombia already boasts one of the region’s stronger startup ecosystems, with huge potential upside still waiting to be explored.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has reiterated America’s “firm support” for the ongoing peace negotiations between Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, the White House said.
“The Charlie Rose Show”
Colombia will expedite the environmental licensing process for oil, mining, energy and infrastructure projects, but maintain the same rigorous standards, the environment minister said on Thursday.
Colombia proposed reallocating about $1.5 billion (3 trillion pesos) in its 2015 budget plan for infrastructure and social spending, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said on Wednesday.
President Santos interview begins at 08:14
The four presidents of Latin America’s $2.1 trillion Pacific Alliance bloc said integration is a tool for fighting inequality and they will seek a common agenda with the Mercosur group, led by Brazil and Argentina.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos talks about efforts to end a five-decade conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country’s economy and the potential impact of a Venezuela bond default on Colombia. Santos speaks with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker at the Bloomberg Latin America Forum in New York.
After a week of remote treks through the rain forests and an isolated ascent into the Colombian Andes with a small group of five International Expeditions travelers, I was convinced that we had the entire country to ourselves. I was even feeling a bit torn about coming home and writing about it, only to let this wonderful South American secret out.
On “Charlie Rose,” a conversation with Juan Manuel Santos. He is President of Colombia and won a second term this June. President Santos was in New York this week for the UN General Assembly meetings.
When four Latin American ambassadors to the U.S. met Thursday in Arlington, the mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth were on hand to welcome them.