July 14, 2009- Press Releases - La Embajada de Colombia ante los Estados Unidos,  la Misión de Colombia ante la Organización de Estados Americanos, el Consulado General de Colombia en Washington y la Fundación Todos por Colombia invita a un evento gratuito para celebrar el 20 de Julio. Los detalles son los siguientes: Fecha: 20 de julio Lugar: Museo de las Amricas 201 18thst NW, Washington DC, 20006 Hora: 6:30 p.m.   Para unirse a la  celebracion de nuestra independencia, la obra del reconocido arquitecto colombiano Rogelio Salmona abrirá  este dia en exclusiva para la comunidad colombiana. El encuentro tambien contará con  msica y talento colombiano. IMPORTANTE: Para poder asistir es necesario reclamar las boletas en la Embajada de Colombia (2118 Leroy Place NW) o en la Misión de Colombia ante la OEA (1609 22nd ST NW). Se entregarán un máximo de 4 boletas por persona.        
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July 8, 2009- News Clips - OP - ED THE MIAMI HERALD - Trade deal would reduce drug flow

 

 
By Robert Weiner and Zoe Pagonis. During the Colombia Free Trade Agreement discussions in the White House and Congress, a major point has been missed. Colombia is the No. 1 source of drugs that lead to murders, crowding in prisons and family disunion. Congressional ratification of the Colombia Free Trade agreement will help Colombia create jobs outside of the drug trade and reduce the export of these lethal products.
Colombia currently provides us with 90 percent of our cocaine and in the past, as much as 50.1 percent of our heroin. Colombian cartels and drug-funded terror group FARC help cause U.S. drug and crime problems. Without free trade, Colombia's people will be forced to remain dependent on drugs as their most lucrative business. Even as the world's third largest producer of coffee, revenue from that industry pales in comparison. The annual profit on a hectare of coffee is $500 versus an estimated $5,000 for coca.
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July 8, 2009- Press Releases - The Head of State will participate in the Allen & Company Sun Valley Annual Conference to show the progress of Colombia in the last years, this Thursday July 9. In addition he will hold meetings with important United States businessmen, including the founder of Dell Inc. company, Michael Dell; the President and CEO of Nokia, Jorma Ollila, and the founder and president of Discovery Communications, John Hendricks. Bogotá, July 8. The President of Colombia, lvaro Uribe Vlez will travel on Wednesday July 8 to Sun Valley city, Idaho, where he was invited to participate in the Allen & Company Sun Valley Annual Conference to show and analyze progress in Colombia. In addition he will hold meetings with important United States Businessmen. The conference was arranged by Helbert Allen, president of Allen & Company and will take place on Thursday July 9 at 10:25am (local time) at the Sun Valley Lodge Hotel. The Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference is an annual event arranged and financed by private investment from the Allen & Company. Since 1983 this conference has taken place, for one week in July, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Business leaders, politicians and important figures of philanthropy and culture are gathered for this event. Last year guests included as Bill and Melinda Gates; Warren and Susan Buffett; Tony Blair, and Robert Johnson, founder of BET. The Head of State will be accompanied by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata and the Ambassador of Colombia in Washington, Carolina Barco. President Uribe’s Agenda in Sun Valley. Wednesday, July 8 2009 9:00am. Boarding of President Uribe and his delegation to the Presidential Airplane BBJ FAC 0001, with destination to the Hailey International Airport of Sun Valley. President Alvaro Uribe will attend in the night to a dinner hosted by Herbert Allen. Michael Dell, founder of Dell Inc. and Robert Experian from Group Limited are also invited to de dinner. Thursday, July 9 2009 10:25 am. Participation of President lvaro Uribe Vlez at the Allen / Company Sun Valley Conference. 12:00m. Lunch at the Dockpond with Denis Cortese, President and CEO of Mayo Clinic; Jorma Ollila, President and CEO of Nokia Corporation; Marc Baylin, Vice president Oppenheimer Funds investment company, and Toby Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Foundation. 6:30 p.m. The Head of State will attend a dinner hosted by Herbert Allen.  John Hendricks, founder and president of Discovery Communications; Bob Iger, president and executive director of Walt Disney Company; Jeffrey Katzenberg, co founder y CEO of Dream Works Animation SKG, and Jay Y. Lee, Vice president of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd will also be attending.     
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July 6, 2009- Press Releases - "What does the compensation effort means? It is an expression, from our souls, to avoid seeds of hate, to avoid revenge, so the country can create all the spiritual conditions for a total reconciliation the Head of State pointed when he was giving the first three indemnities in Popayán. The Leader asked for forgiveness to the victims of the violence in the country. Popayan, Cauca, July 5 (SP). The first act to give the solidarity compensations to the victims of violence who requested administrative compensation is an expression from the soul, to avoid seeds of hate, President lvaro Uribe said. That was pointed by the President, during the act to give the three first compensations, to citizens who lost their families in violent situations by illegal armed groups. What does the compensation effort means? It is an expression, from our souls, to avoid seeds of hate, to avoid revenge, so the country can create all the spiritual conditions for a total reconciliation, the Head of State expressed. Uribe Vlez reiterated that full compensation does not exist, but by giving them this indemnities, the country makes an effort leaving behind the economic meaning. The country is making this effort, leaving behind the meaning of economic issues and putting on front the need to have an expression from the soul of Colombian institutions, to contribute to create that ideal scenario to a sincere reconciliation of all Colombians, he said. The President agreed to what Eduardo Pizarro, president of the National Commission of Compensation and Reconciliation, said at the ceremony, and asked the victims for forgiveness for  a violence that have existed since the middle 40s, and which should end through the Democratic Security Policy. That is why, I with the responsibility of being the President of the Republic, for be elected as the Head of State, and also for instructions from my soul, for memories, for pain, for nostalgia, I want to join Eduardo Pizarro in what he said, to ask all Colombians for forgiveness and make a commitment that we will not save any efforts to recover peace through security with democratic values, he said. The individual administrative compensation program, which shows today its first progress in Popayan, was created by the National Government by the 1290 decree of 2008, with the purpose to grant individual compensation to those victims who, before April 22 of 2008, were damaged and suffered from violation of their rights by actions of illegal armed groups. This first delivery of compensations includes two thousand victims, 300 of them received it in Popayán, and the other 1.700 received it simultaneously all around the country. Acción Social Presidential Agency confirmed that, until today, around 240 thousand people are registered to receive this kind of compensation. Before de end of this year 10 thousand families of victims will receive this compensation. The Head of State highlighted this fact. Mr. Eduardo Pizarro Leon Gomez was telling me, for his opinion columns, that this is one of the biggest efforts ever made in the world. And now, we have 240 thousand victims registered. Between today and December, this expression of our souls that we call compensation, but full compensation does not exists. It is a supportive aid to the victims that will reach 10 thousand fellow countrymen, he finished. Learn More  
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July 6, 2009- News Clips - EDITORIAL LA TIMES -  Hail Colombia

 

 

President Obama, who withheld his support for a free-trade agreement with Colombia when he was a senator, recently sounded a more positive note on the issue. At a joint news conference this week with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Obama commended him for the progress his country has made in addressing human rights violations. In particular, he remarked on the more hospitable environment in Colombia today for labor organizers -- one of the sticking points for Obama and other Democrats in Congress.

"We've seen improvements when it comes to prosecution of those carrying out these blatant human rights offenses," Obama said. Furthermore, he added, he has instructed U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to work with his Colombian counterparts to bring the free-trade agreement to fruition. All of which suggested that Colombia has turned a corner since Obama's election, and that the United States may now be more favorably inclined to free trade with this Andean nation.

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July 2, 2009- News Clips - IBD - On Free Trade, White House Must Lead

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Trade: President Obama's encouraging words to Colombia's president Monday signaled an improving outlook for the two nations' long-delayed free trade treaty. It's good news, but he must take that message to Congress.Contrary to what you might think from the administration's responses to Iran and Honduras, not all of our friends are being snubbed or our enemies embraced. Obama showed considerable respect for our friend and ally Colombia at a working meeting with President Alvaro Uribe at the White House Monday, declaring at a joint press conference that "we are grateful for his friendship."
It was a commendable show of leadership, and an appropriate response to Colombia, an invaluable ally in fighting drugs,terrorism, as well as being a democratic model for the region. "President Uribe's administration I think has under very difficult circumstances performed admirably on a whole range of fronts," Obama said.

Better still, Obama said that passing Colombia's long-stalled free trade treaty was at the top of the bilateral agenda.
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July 1, 2009- News Clips - Celebrate Independence Weekend listening to Colombian Music at the Folklife Festival

 
 
 
 

 
 

 

 

The Embassy of Colombia is proud to announce the participation of three musical groups from Colombia in the 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival to take place between June 24th  and July 5th  at the National Mall. All the events are free and open to the public. See Brochure

The calendar of performances and workshops for the Colombian groups are:

PERFORMANCES
Wednesady June 24th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  11:45 am

    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 3:05 pm
     

  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  12:35 am

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  11:45 am
     

  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  1:25 pm

Thursday June 25th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  11:45 am
     
  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  11:45 am
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 3:05 pm

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  4:45 pm

Friday June 26th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  12:35 pm

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  4:45 pm
     

  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  11:00 am

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  3:05 pm
     

  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 3:55 pm

Saturday June 27th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  3:55 pm
     
  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  11:00 am
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 11:45 pm

    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  4:45 pm

Sunday June 28th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  1:25 pm

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 3:55 pm
     

  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 3:05 pm
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 2:15 pm 

 
Wednesday July 1st

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 3:05 pm
     
  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  11:00 am
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 12:35 pm

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  4:45 pm

Thursday July 2nd

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 12:35 pm
     
  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  4:45 pm
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 12:35 pm

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  4:45 pm

Friday July 3rd

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 1:25 pm
     
  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  11:00 am

    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 4:45 pm
     

  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 12:35 pm
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  4:45 pm

Saturday July4th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 11:00 am

    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 4:45 pm
     

  • Las Cantadoras del Pacifico
    Place: Dance Hall
    Time:  2:15 pm
     
  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  2:15 pm

Sunday July 5th

  • Grupo Cimarron
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time: 1:25 pm

    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 3:05 pm
     

  • Las Estrellas del Vallenato
    Place: Folkways Salon
    Time:  12:35 pm

    Place: Dance Hall
    Time: 4:45 p

WORKSHOPS
Wednesday, June 24th

  • 1:25 pm
    Rhythm Guitar Workshop
    Darwin Medina (Joropo Llanero); Alfonso Moreno, Aquiles Baez (Joropo Oriental); Tereso Vega (son de madera); Francisco Lujano (Cumaco)
     
  • 2:15 pm
    Percussion Workshop
    Francisco Espinel, Kerkyn, Roberto (Merengue); Tito,  Joksan, Eric (Bomba); Ricaurter, Julio, Tulio, Carlos (Currulao)
     
  • 3:05 pm
    Accordion workshop
    Javier Gámez, Oranjel Maestre (Vallenato}; David Farías (Conjunto); La India Canela  (Merengue Típico)
     
  • 4:45pm
    Music Movements: Regional and Global
    Orangel "Pangue" Maestre (Vallenato);   Tito Matos (Plena);    Ramón Gutirrez (Son de Madera) Quetzal Flores

Thursday June 25th

  • 11:00 am
    Percussion Workshop
    Rubí Oseguera (Son de Madera); Daniel Maestre (Vallenato); Tito Matos (Viento de Agua);Jos Uribe (Grupo Cumaco)
     
  • 12:35 pm
    Accordion Workshop
    Javier Gámez, Oranjel Maestre (Vallenato}; David Farías (Conjunto); La India Canela  (Merengue Típico); Monico Márquez (Joropo Oriental)
     
  • 1:25 pm
    Harps Workshop
    Carlos Rojas (Cimarrón); Marcelo Rojas (Paraguay)
     
  • 2:15 pm
    Currulao Across Generations: Women Singers
    Las Cantadoras del Pacífico
     
  • 4:45pm
    Improvisation Styles
    Rubí Oseguera, Natalia Arroyo (Son de Madera) Gladys Bazán(Cantadoras); Ana Veydó (Cimarrón)

Friday June 26th

  • 11:00 am
    Music and Land
    Tito Matos (Plena);Isaac Carrillo,(Vallenato) Luis Moreno (Joropo Llanero)
     
  • 1:25 pm
    Drumming Workshop
    Francisco Espinal (Merengue); Daniel Maestre (Vallenato); Ricarurter Rivas, Julio Mancilla, Tulio Prado (Currulao); Jos Uribe (Grupo Cumaco)
     
  • 2:15 pm
    Tradiciones de joropo
    Carlos Rojas, Ferney Rojas, Darwin Medina, Carlos Cedeo, Freyman Cárdenas (joropo llanero); Remigio Fuentes, Alberto Valderrama, Alfonso Moreno,  Roberto Koch joropo oriental)
     
  • 3:05 pm
    Folkways Recordings Collaborations
    Carlos Rojas, Joropo llanero, Patricia Abdelnour

Saturday June 27th

  • 2:15 pm
    Folkways Recordings Studio Sessions
    Stories  Carlos Rojas, Ana Veydó, (Cimarrón); Isaac Carrillo (Vallenato), Ramón Gutirrez  (Son de Madera)  
     
  • 3:05 pm
    African Roots in Music
    Seleccion de Las Cantadoras del Pacífico  y del grupo Cumaco
     
  • 4:45 pm
    Vocal Styles Workshop
    Gladys Bazán y ? (currulao); Tito Matos, Guillermo Cubero (plena); Francisco Lujano, Carmen Camacho (cumaco)

Sunday June 28th

  • 11:00 am
    Women in Music: Challenges & Transformations
    Gladys Bazán (Currulao), Ana Veydó (Cimarrón); La India Canela; Rubí Oseguera, Natalia Arroyo (Son de Madera)
     
  • 11:45 am
    Giros, Giras, Maracas, & Guacharacas
    Kerlyn Coronado (merengue); Jaine Maestre (Vallenato); Freymán Cárdenas (Cimarrón); Remigio Fuentes/Jos Martínez (oriental)
     
  • 12:35 am
    Rhythm Workshop
    Daniel Maestre, Jaime Maestre  (Vallenato); Tito Matos, Guillermo Cubero, Joksan Ramos (Plena);  Jos Uribe, Luis Aponte (Cumaco)

Wednesday July 1st

  • 11:00 am
    Trovadores: Improvisation and Song
    Artemio Posadas (Huasteco); Miguel Santiago (Jíbaro); Luis Moreno (Cimarrón)
     
  • 1:25 pm
    Currulao Worshop
    Las Cantadoras del Pacífico

Thursday July 2nd

  • 11:00 am
    Vocal Styles across Traditions
    Miguel Santiago (Ecos); Ismael Hernández y Chuy Guzmán (Mariachi); Ana Veydó, Luis Moreno (Cimarrón); Hernán Marín (Joropo Oriental)
     
  • 11:45 am
    Vocal Styles across Traditions
    Miguel Santiago (Ecos); Ismael Hernández y Chuy Guzmán (Mariachi); Ana Veydó, Luis Moreno (Cimarrón); Hernán Marín (Joropo Oriental)
     
  • 3:05 pm
    Joropo Llanero workshop
    Grupo Cimarrón      

Friday July 3rd

  • 3:55 pm
    Folkways Recordings Studio Experiences
    Trinidad, Eliseo Lovo (Chanchona); Carlos Rojas, Ana Veydó (Cimarrón); Pangue Maestre, Isaac Carrillo (Vallenato); Pete Reiniger

Saturday July 4rd

  • 1:25 pm
    Vocal Styles across Traditions
    Hernán Marín, Luis Beltran (Joropo Oriental);  Isaac Carrillo (Vallenato); Miguel Santiago (Ecos); Ana Veydó, Luis Moreno (Cimarrón)
     
  • 11:45 am
    Currulao Workshop
    Las Cantadoras del Pacífico
     
  • 3:05pm
    Song Stories
    Isaac Carrillo (Vallenato); Don Beto Cruz y Jess García

NOTE: LOCATION OF ALL WORKSHOPS IS AT LA PEA TENT  AT THE NATIONAL MALL

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June 29, 2009- Press Releases - Al trmino de la reunión con el Presidente lvaro Uribe en la Casa Blanca, el Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, destacó los logros obtenidos en reducción de muertes de líderes sindicales por parte de Colombia, así como el aumento de las penas a los responsables de estos homicidios. Washington, 29 jun (SP). El Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, destacó este lunes los logros del Gobierno del Presidente lvaro Uribe, en materia de respeto a los derechos humanos y protección a los líderes sindicales en Colombia. En declaraciones a la prensa, luego de la reunión que tuvieron los mandatarios en la Casa Blanca, Obama tambin celebró que en Colombia se hayan incrementado las penas a los asesinos de sindicalistas. Felicit al Presidente Uribe sobre el progreso que se ha logrado en el campo de los derechos humanos en Colombia, con relación a la matanza de los líderes laborales en ese país. Hemos visto una reducción en la muerte de líderes laborales, así como un aumento de las penas a los perpetradores, sealó el Jefe de Estado norteamericano. Resaltó que en la charla, el Presidente Uribe no sólo habló sobre los avances sino tambin sobre las tareas pendientes en cuanto a la protección de los dirigentes sindicales y los trabajadores. El Presidente Uribe reconoce que todavía hay trabajo por hacer y anticipamos cooperar con l para continuar mejorando tanto los derechos de la fuerza laboral organizada y los esfuerzos para proteger tanto a los líderes laborales como de derechos civiles, indicó el Presidente Obama. Frente al tema de las investigaciones relacionadas con ejecuciones extrajudiciales, el mandatario estadounidense se declaró confiado en el manejo transparente que le está dando al tema el Gobierno colombiano. Pensamos que las medidas que ya se han tomado en temas relacionados a matanzas extrajudiciales, es importante que Colombia siga un paso de imperio de la ley y de transparencia, y yo s que eso es algo a lo cual está comprometido el Presidente Uribe, afirmó Obama.   Declaración del Presidente Barack Obama, al trmino de su encuentro con el Mandatario colombiano lvaro Uribe Vlez Declaración del Presidente Uribe, al trmino de su encuentro con el Mandatario estadounidense Barack Obama     
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June 29, 2009- News Clips - Presidente Uribe sancionó ley que aumenta protección a dirigentes sindicales

La norma extiende el periodo para que no prescriba la acción criminal contra los autores de atentados a sindicalistas, y tambin aumenta las posibilidades al juez para imponer una pena más elevada a los asesinos de personas que hacen parte de estos grupos, explicó el Mandatario en Washington, luego de una reunión con el Secretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Gary Locke.

 

 
Washington, 29 jun (SP). El Presidente lvaro Uribe Vlez dijo este lunes que ya fue sancionada la nueva Ley por medio de la cual se fortalece la protección y se aumentan las penas por delitos cometidos contra los miembros de las organizaciones sindicales, defensores de derechos humanos y trabajadores en general, ratificando así las disposiciones contenidas en la Ley 599 de 2000.

El anuncio fue hecho por el Mandatario, desde Washington, al trmino de la reunión que tuvo con el Secretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Gary Locke, a quien explicó que esta Ley hace parte del esfuerzo del Gobierno Nacional para derrotar la violencia contra los integrantes de los organismos sealados.

Al dirigirse a un grupo de periodistas que lo esperaba a la salida del encuentro con Locke, el Jefe de Estado colombiano explicó en qu consiste el aumento de las penas que contempla la iniciativa aprobada por el Congreso de la Repblica en la legislatura que finalizó hace 10 días.

La aumenta de dos maneras: Extiende el periodo para que no prescriba la acción criminal contra quienes atentan contra este grupo de personas en nuestro país y tambin aumenta las posibilidades al juez para imponer una pena más elevada a los asesinos de personas que correspondan a estos grupos, sealó el Presidente Uribe.

Dijo que en la reunión las autoridades de comercio de Estados Unidos reconocieron los avances de Colombia en este frente, que hace parte de un proceso iniciado desde el inicio del Gobierno, mucho antes de empezar a negociar el Tratado de Libre de Comercio, para practicar lo que se llama el concepto democrático de Seguridad.

En nuestro Manifiesto Democrático de 2002, en el punto 100, en el punto 27, nosotros le propusimos al país que de ganar las elecciones de 2002 iríamos a hacer todos los esfuerzos para la derrota del secuestro, el asesinato contra trabajadores, contra periodistas, contra maestros. Y esta Ley 599 hace parte de los esfuerzos en esa dirección, subrayó el Presidente Uribe.

Cabe recordar que el Proyecto de Ley nmero 218 de Senado y 308 de Cámara, que modifica la Ley 599 de 2000, presentando por el Gobierno Nacional, fue aprobado por el Congreso de la Repblica el pasado 19 de junio.

Prescripción para homicidios

De acuerdo con la nueva ley, ahora se equipara el trmino de prescripción para el homicidio de integrantes de una organización sindical en el mismo trmino que para las conductas punibles de genocidio, desaparición forzada, tortura y desplazamiento forzado, de treinta (30) aos. La prescripción normal es de veinte (20) aos.

De igual forma, este nuevo instrumento legal amplió la calificación para la agravación punitiva a cualquier miembro de una organización sindical, calificación que antes sólo amparaba a los dirigentes sindicales.

Aumento de penas

En el caso del fortalecimiento de penas, la ley fortalece las penas para el caso de desaparición forzada de cualquier miembro de una organización sindical, calificación que antes sólo amparaba a los dirigentes sindicales.

La Ley tambin establece el aumento de la pena contra quien impida o perturbe una reunión lícita o el ejercicio de los derechos que conceden las leyes laborales o tome represalias con motivo de huelga, reunión o asociación legítimas. Para lo anterior la multa será de cien (100) a trescientos (300) salarios mínimos legales mensuales vigentes o arresto.

Se equipara la pena agravándola cuando se cometa una amenaza contra el integrante de un sindicato. Antes sólo estaba para el servidor pblico perteneciente a la Rama Judicial o al Ministerio Pblico o sus familiares.  

 

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June 29, 2009- News Clips - Director de la Oficina de Control de Drogas de Estados Unidos visitará a Colombia en septiembre

Washington, Estados Unidos, 29 de jun (SP). El Presidente lvaro Uribe Vlez indicó este lunes que el Director de la Oficina de Política Nacional de Control de Drogas de Estados Unidos (ONDCP, por sus siglas en ingls), Gil Kerlikowske, visitará a Colombia en septiembre próximo.

Así lo declaró el Mandatario a los medios de comunicación, al concluir un encuentro con el alto directivo, este lunes, en la capital estadounidense. Se hizo un repaso general de la política antidrogas. l va a visitar a Colombia en el mes de septiembre, dijo el Jefe de Estado.

El Presidente destacó el más reciente informe de la Organización de Naciones Unidas (ONU) en el que se reporta que en el país hubo una reducción en los cultivos de drogas ilícitas, y agregó que se incrementarán los esfuerzos para lograr mayor efectividad en la lucha antidrogas.

Si bien, de acuerdo con el informe de las Naciones Unidas, en el ao anterior hubo un decrecimiento de los cultivos de droga en Colombia, nosotros creemos que no es suficiente, dado el esfuerzo que hacemos en Colombia.

No estamos satisfechos y por eso debemos hacer una revisión a ver cómo, con este esfuerzo y con esta determinación que es total, logramos mejores resultados, dijo el Mandatario.

Durante la reunión con el Director de Control de Drogas, el Jefe de Estado reiteró la necesidad de implementar una política que atienda el problema de las drogas de una manera integral, desde la producción hasta el consumo, incluyendo asuntos como el tráfico de armas o de precursores químicos.

Al encuentro tambin asistió el Director Adjunto para la Reducción de la Oferta, Pat Ward.   

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June 29, 2009- News Clips - Agenda del Presidente lvaro Uribe en Washington

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Los Presidentes de Colombia y Estados Unidos, lvaro Uribe Vlez y Barack Obama, sostendrán una reunión de trabajo el lunes 29 de junio, a las 2:15 de la tarde (hora local), en la Casa Blanca. Durante su estadía en Washington, el Jefe de Estado Colombiano tambin sostendrá encuentros con funcionarios de la Administración Obama, representantes de organismos multilaterales y líderes de opinión.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Bogotá, 26 jun (SP). El Presidente de la Repblica,lvaro Uribe Vlez, estará entre el 28 y el 30 de junio en Washington, dondes ostendrá una reunión de trabajo con su homólogo de Estados Unidos, BarackObama. El encuentro entre los Presidentes de ambos países, para examinar temas de inters comn, se realizará el  lunes 29 de junio, a las 2:15 de la tarde (horalocal), en la Casa Blanca.
Cabe recordar que los Mandatarios sostuvieron su primer encuentro el pasado 18 de abril en Puerto Espaa ( Trinidad y Tobago), durante el almuerzo de trabajo celebrado el segundo día de la Quinta Cumbre de las Amricas, en el que fueron ubicados uno al lado del otro. Durante la conversación que compartieron ese día, el Presidente Barack Obama le expresó a su homólogo lvaro Uribe su intención de visitar Colombia, durante la gira que próximamente realizará por Amrica Latina.
En Washington, el Presidente Uribe tambin sostendrá encuentros con funcionarios de la Administración Obama, entre ellos el Representante Comercial de Estados Unidos, Ron Kirk; el Secretario de Comercio, Gary Locke; el Director del Consejo Económico Nacional de la Casa Blanca, Larry Summers, y el Director de la Oficina de Política Nacional de Control de Drogas ONDCP’, Gil Kerlikowske.
Durante su estadía en la capital estadounidense, el Jefe de Estado colombiano se reunirá además con el Presidente del Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick. Así mismo, el Presidente entregará la Orden de San Carlos, en el Grado de Gran Cruz, a Tom Shannon, Secretario Asistente de Estado para el Hemisferio Occidental, quien durante su larga carrera diplomática ha sido amigo de Colombia.
La agenda del Jefe de Estado colombiano en la capital estadounidense tambin incluye su participación en una conferencia en el Woodrow Wilson Center’, en la cual expondrá los incentivos que ofrece el Gobierno Nacional a los inversionistas y los avances de la política de Seguridad Democrática. Este evento, programado para el martes 30 de junio, es coordinado por el Diálogo Interamericano, el Consejo de las Amricas y el Centro Woodrow Wilson.
El martes 30 de junio, el Presidente lvaro Uribe viajará de Washington a Panamá, para asistir a la posesión del Mandatario electo de ese país, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, que se cumplirá el mircoles primero de julio desde las10:50 de la maana (hora local). El Jefe de Estado colombiano viaja en compaía del Canciller Jaime Bermdez Merizalde; el Ministro de Comercio, Industria y Turismo, Luis Guillermo Plata, y tres de sus Secretarios.
A continuación, la Secretaría de Prensa publica la agenda del Presidente lvaro Uribe en Washington.  
Lunes, 29 de junio de 2009
8:00a.m. (Hora local). Reunión con Gil Kerlikowske, Director de la Oficina dePolítica Nacional de Control de Drogas (Ondcp).
09:45a.m. Reunión con Ron Kirk, Representante Comercial de Estados Unidos.
10:30a.m. Reunión con Gary Locke, Secretario de Comercio de Estados Unidos.
11:40a.m. Reunión con el Presidente del Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick.
12:00m. Almuerzo con representantes de Think Tanks, analistas políticos.
2:10p.m. Llegada del Presidente lvaro Uribe Vlez y su comitiva a la Casa Blanca.
2:15p.m. Reunión bilateral entre los Presidentes de Colombia, lvaro Uribe Vlez, y de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama.
4:00p.m. Reunión con Larry Summers, Director del Consejo Económico Nacional de laCasa Blanca.
5:30p.m. Recepción y condecoración al seor Tom Shannon, Asistente de Estado para el Hemisferio Occidental.
Martes, 30 de junio de 2009

9:00 a.m. Presentación del Presidente lvaro Uribe Vlez en el WoodrowWilson Center. Invita Woodrow Wilson Center, Council of the Americas yInteramericana Dialogue. 
 
 

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June 25, 2009- News Clips - VOA - UN Reports Decline in Heroin, Cocaine Production

By Robert Raffaele.  The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime says global production of heroin and cocaine has decreased during the past year.  But it says production and use of synthetic drugs appears to be rising in developing nations.  The annual report calls for better treatment for addicts and increased cooperation to combat illegal drug trafficking.  The report cites a downward trend in the worldwide cultivation of heroin and cocaine.  Opium cultivation in Afghanistan - the source of 93 percent of the world's opium -  was down 19 percent last year.

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June 25, 2009- News Clips - THE WASHINGTON POST - Many U.S. House Democrats want trade policy revamp

Political pressure grew on President Barack Obama to reconsider pending trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea as over 100 lawmakers called on Wednesday for a massive revamp of U.S. trade policy.
The 106 lawmakers, most of them members of Obama's Democratic party, introduced legislation requiring a comprehensive review of the economic impact of existing major trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, before any new ones are considered.
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June 22, 2009- News Clips - VIVA COLOMBIA Concert at the National Mall!

As part of the celebration of the Folklife Festival 2009  the Embassy of Colombia and the Smithsonian Institute are proud to present the VIVA COLOMBIA Concert at the National Mall. Please join us to celebrate Colombia's diversity and listen to some of the best Colombian artists performing live traditional music and dances from Colombia. The music ensembles participating are Cantadoras del Pacífico, Estrellas del Vallenato and Grupo Cimarrón.
The concert details are as follows:
 
When:  Sunday June28th, 2009 at 6:00 pm
Where: National Mall - Folkways Salon Tent
 
See event flyer
 
 
 

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June 15, 2009- News Clips - KGMB9 - Colombian Training Ship Arrives in Hawaii

By Lisa Kubota - A Colombian Navy ship arrived in Honolulu on Monday morning after a month at sea. The training vessel is welcoming visitors, offering a unique opportunity for cultural exchange. The ARC Gloria made quite an impression as it pulled into port. The sailors, dressed in the colors of Colombia's flag, sang their hearts out from the ship's rigging.

"They started singing their national anthem and several other songs, and it made the goose bumps stand out," said David Spearman, a visitor from San Diego. "It's gorgeous. It's amazing. It's breathtaking," said visitor Andrew Bouchard.

This is the fifth time the ship has stopped in Hawaii. It has 170 crew members and military cadets. The students are learning important lessons out on the open ocean. "Navigation, about the stars, navigation with the moon, with the sun, how to maneuver a ship," explained Captain Luis Tovar.
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June 12, 2009- News Clips - THE WHITE HOUSE -  Statement by the Press Secretary on the visit of President Uribe of Colombia

President Obama will meet with President Uribe at the White House on Monday, June 29.  Colombia is a close ally and partner of the United States, and the President looks forward to discussing a broad range of bilateral and hemispheric issues, including ways to enhance our cooperation on security and development challenges in Colombia and throughout the Americas.  The President also looks forward to discussing with President Uribe our economic engagement, including the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and the long-term, institutional consolidation of security gains in Colombia through effective governance, as well as other ways to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.

 

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June 12, 2009- News Clips - REUTERS -  Obama, Uribe to discuss long-delayed trade pact

 
By Doug Palmer - U.S. President Barack Obama is eager to discuss a long-delayed free trade agreement with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe when the two leaders meet on June 29, the White House said on Friday.

Colombia is a close U.S. ally and Obama looks forward to discussing a number of issues with Uribe, including how to enhance regional security and development, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"The president also looks forward to discussing with President Uribe our economic engagement, including the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement," Gibbs said.

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June 12, 2009- News Clips - PROVIDENCE JOURNAL - A president in Central Falls: Colombian community gives a warm welcome to Uribe

By Tatiana Pina Andres Taborda, 16, and his aunt waited in the long line that snaked down Illinois Street on Thursday to hear Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez speak at Central Falls High School.

Andres attends St. Raphael Academy, in Pawtucket, where his family lives. He was born here but his parents emigrated from Colombia, and family conversation over coffee after Sunday Mass often focuses on the president of their homeland.

Uribe has been widely credited with transforming the nation as his security policies have weakened guerillas, made paramilitaries less active and reduced crime. In office since 2002, he enjoys a 70 percent approval rating. He is in Rhode Island this week to address the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which opens Friday in Providence.

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June 12, 2009- News Clips - AP - Colombian President Receives Key to Rhode Island City

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has received an honorary key to the city of Providence following a brief meeting with Mayor David Cicilline. Uribe met privately with Cicilline and shook hands with supporters but did not take questions from reporters during an appearance at Providence City Hall on Thursday. Uribe is scheduled to address the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Providence on Friday.

A conservative who is closely allied with Washington, Uribe told Cicilline that his administration had set a "great example of efficiency" in running the city.

Uribe told a business forum last month that it would be "inappropriate" to seek a third consecutive term as president but has not expressly ruled out making a bid. The Senate approved a referendum that would ask voters to permit him to run again.  

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June 12, 2009- Press Releases - Providence, Estados Unidos, 11 jun (SP). El Presidente lvaro Uribe Vlez propuso este jueves la construcción de una alianza entre Colombia y los Estados Unidos, que permita la eliminación total de la droga.  Así lo manifestó el Jefe de Estado durante un encuentro con la comunidad colombiana en Central Falls High School, de Providence (Rhode Island), como parte de su agenda en Estados Unidos.  El Mandatario afirmó que en la actualidad no se debe hacer una división entre países productores y consumidores, ya que la droga es un solo problema. Sealó que hay que hacer una gran alianza con el pueblo y con el Gobierno de Estados Unidos: la eliminación total de la droga. Yo ya no divido al mundo entre productores y consumidores. Cada país corre el riesgo de ser productor, centro de narcotráfico, país de precursores químicos y país de consumidores. Por eso, nuestro Congreso está aprobando una enmienda constitucional para ilegalizar el consumo de drogas, dijo. El Presidente Uribe llamó la atención sobre el riesgo que conlleva pensar que el narcotráfico y la violencia que genera se resuelven con la legalización de la droga. Un grave problema en el mundo es darle legalidad al consumo de droga, la permisividad con la dosis personal. El mundo tiene que eliminar eso. Es muy difícil derrotar el narcotráfico si hay esa permisividad con el consumo.  Reiteró que por esta razón el Congreso colombiano estudia una reforma constitucional que permita penalizar la dosis mínima de droga. Ahora nuestro Congreso -y espero que desde aquí se le pida que lo apruebe totalmente-, está aprobando una enmienda constitucional para que la dosis personal de droga sea ilegal, manifestó. Advirtió que el negocio ilícito de la droga está enlazado con la violencia en la que se involucra a menores de edad. La criminalidad infantil está asociada indisolublemente con la permisividad para el tráfico de droga. Si queremos luchar contra la criminalidad infantil hay que eliminar cualquier posibilidad de legalidad del tráfico de droga, por eso nosotros queremos esa enmienda constitucional, expresó Uribe Vlez. El Jefe de Estado indicó que con esta iniciativa tambin se busca otorgar la posibilidad de rehabilitación y asistencia a las personas drogadictas, sin perder de vista que muchos se vuelven criminales. Alguien me dice: Presidente, pero es que al enfermo drogadicto no lo pueden meter a la cárcel’. Eso está bien, lo aceptamos. Pero es que, además, de los enfermos drogadictos y a los enfermos hay que darles la posibilidad de rehabilitación, de asistencia. Además de ellos hay muchos criminales. Saben ustedes cómo distribuyen droga para que no los metan a la cárcel? Llevan en el bolsillo una dosis personal, la venden y despus regresan por otra. Y de dosis personal en dosis personal envenenan a la comunidad, puntualizó.  
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June 12, 2009- Press Releases - President lvaro Uribe Vlez reiterated his call to the United States congressmen for the approval of the FTA between Colombia and the United States. He insisted on the importance of this trade agreement for our country. The approval of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States is necessary for the international community to continue trusting Colombia, President Uribe highlighted during a gathering with Colombian citizens. A woman from the audience suggested sending a letter to Senator Eduard Kennedy, asking for help with the FTA with Colombia. President Uribe answered to this, by asking Colombian citizens who live in the United States to send e-mails to American congressmen asking them for the approval of the trade agreement. That is a vital point and thank you lady. Who of you have internet? Use it every day. Send a message every day supporting the FTA with Colombia. Colombians now how to kindly ask for things." Write to Senator Kennedy, to all Senators, to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to all Representatives,  to Charles Rangel. Write to all of them, so they can approve the Free Trade Agreement. Do that homework everyday, an internet message. We need that message to get to the Congress of the United States, President Uribe said. He expressed that if Colombia is fighting to get approval from Congress, is because both nations share common democratic and freedom values, and also because Colombia is an important ally of the United States. President Uribe also said that the agreement is vital because it will be a signal for investment to keep flowing to Colombia. We are negotiating with several countries, and other countries can ask themselves: Why negotiating with Colombia if the United States has not ratified its agreement? The ratification of this agreement is a gesture that will be received by the international community as a sign that investment must flow to Colombia, the Head of State pointed. In addition, he reminded the efforts of the country to extradite more than 1000 drug traffickers and the eradication of illegal drugs crops, and he declared that an agreement between both countries will help to end with this scourge. The Free Trade Agreement has to be a step forward so Colombia can get rid of drug trafficking and also terrorism, which is financed by the traffic of drugs he pointed. He reminded that Colombia is the leader of the continent in seizing illegal capital, but beside these efforts, the country also needs investment to give alternatives to Colombians, and that is why it is important to have a Free Trade Agreement.  
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June 11, 2009- News Clips - 4th Annual Youth Clinic Series with Pibe Valderrama

The 4th annual youth clinic series created by Verizon Wireless in collaboration with Real Maryland F.C. and DC Soccer.  A 3 hour recreational clinic offering youth instruction from celebrity  professional soccer players. All levels of youth players are welcomed. Families are encouraged to attend the event and participate in activities following the clinic.  It will take place June 14th from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Richard Montgomery High School Stadium (250 Richard Montgomery Dr., Rockville).
It's open to kids 5-17 years of age.
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June 10, 2009- News Clips - PROVIDENCE JOURNAL - Colombia's president to address Conference of Mayors

By Tatiana Pina.Providence, R.I.- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez will be in Providence this week to address members of the 77th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, which begins Friday.
The visit marks the first time that a Colombian president serving in office comes to New England, according to Bibiana Gomez, the consul general for the Colombian Consulate in Boston.

President Uribe, 56, who was elected in 2002, is scheduled to deliver a speech at the conference award luncheon Friday at the Rhode Island Convention Center. He will address the Conference of Mayors as part of his efforts to encourage the United States to pass its Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and to promote the progress Colombia has made in terms of economic growth, national security and human rights. Uribe is widely credited with leading Colombia's turnaround, according to Gomez.  
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June 9, 2009- Press Releases -         Bogotá, June 9 (Minister of Foreign Affairs). The President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe will meet with the President of the United States Barack Obama, on June 29th at the White House. This will be their first bilateral meeting and issues of common interest for both countries will be discussed. The meeting follows a series of telephone conversations and a brief meeting between the two Presidents at the Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago in April. During his visit to Washington, President Uribe will meet with policy makers, think tanks, representatives of the business community and other Administration officials. Spanish Version Bogotá, 9 de junio de 2009 (MRE). El Presidente de la Repblica, lvaro Uribe Vlez, se reunirá con su homólogo de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, el próximo el próximo 29 de junio en Washington. Esta será la primera reunión bilateral, en la que se trabajarán los diversos temas de inters para ambos países. La reunión se realizará luego de varias conversaciones telefónicas y un  encuentro de ambos mandatarios en la Cumbre de las Amricas en Trinidad yTobago. Durante su visita a Washington, el Presidente Uribe tambin se reunirá con líderes de opinión, centros de pensamiento, empresarios y funcionarios de la administración Obama.
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June 9, 2009- Press Releases -     On June 9th, the President of Colombia, lvaro Uribe Vlez, will start a  two-day visit to the cities of Montreal and Ottawa in Canada, and  will continue on June 11 and 12 to the city of Providence, Rhode Island  in the United States. During his visit to Canada, the President will be with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Bermdez Merizalde and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism,  Luis Guillermo Plata. In Montreal, the Head of State will participate in the Economic Forum of the Americas and will hold meetings with Canadian entrepreneurs. He will later meet in Ottawa with the Prime Minister of Canada,  Stephen Harper, members of the Cabinet and the Liberal Party of Canada. In Providence, the President will participate in the National Conference of Mayors of the United States. He will also hold a meeting with the private sector and the Colombian community in the area.          The following is the agenda (local time) of President Uribe during his visit to Canada and the United States: Canada Tuesday, June 9 11:00 a.m. Departure of President lvaro Uribe Vlez and his committee from Catam military airport in Bogota, heading to the city of Montreal, Canada. 6:00 PM  Arrival in Montreal, Canada Wednesday, June 10 7:30 a.m. Private breakfast in honor of President lvaro Uribe, offered by the World Economic Forum in Montreal and  Frase, Milner &  Casgrain (FMC). 9:00 a.m. Arrival of the Head of State of Colombia to the Economic Forum of the Americas. 9:30 a.m. Statement of President lvaro Uribe Velez at the Economic Forum ofthe Americas' Free Trade in Latin America. 10:00 a.m. Meeting with Prime Minister of the Province of Quebec and Canadian businessmen. 1:00 p.m. Departure of President Uribe from Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, to the city of Ottawa. 1:30 p.m. Arrival of President Uribe to Ottawa International Airport. 3:15 p.m. Private meeting of President lvaro Uribe Velez with Prime Ministerof Canada, Stephen Harper,  at the Canadian Parliament. Later there will be an expanded meeting with members of the Cabinet. 4:00 p.m. Greeting in the Canadian Parliament between President Uribe and the leader of the official opposition party  (Liberal Party of Canada), Michel Ignatieff. 4:45 p.m. Greetings from President lvaro Uribe Vlez to the Liberal Party Caucus of Canada. Thursday, June 11 9:00 a.m. Private meeting with members of the Committee on International Trade of the Canadian Parliament 11:35 a.m. Departure of the President and his official committee from Ottawa International Airport, bound for the city of Providence, State of Rhode Island in the United States. Providence, United States   Thursday, June 11 1:00 p.m. Arrival of President lvaro Uribe Vlez and his official committee to the city of Providence, United States. 3:00 p.m. Meeting between the  Head of State with the Mayor of Providence, David N. Cicciline, at the City  Hall. 4:00 p.m. Meeting with U.S. private sector. 6:00 PM Meeting with the Colombian community in  CF High School  at Central Falls, Providence. Friday, June 12 10:00 a.m. Meeting with ONDCP Director, Gil Kerlikowske. 11:30 a.m. Meeting of President Uribe with the mayors of Miami, New York,Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Boston at the Providence Convention Center. 12:30 p.m. Statement of President lvaro Uribe Velez at the National Conference of Mayors of the United States. 2:00 p.m. Meeting between the Head of State and  United States Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke. 3:15 p.m. Private meeting with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of the Democratic Party from Rhode Island. 5:00 p.m. Departure from Providence city  Airport due to El Dorado Airport in Bogota.        
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June 9, 2009- Op-eds - OP ED - The Importance of Free Trade

By Neena Shena - Obama's current protectionist track will harm U.S. national security. President Barack Obama has fashioned his foreign policy persona around "constructive engagement" with the international community. Apparently, however, the only "engagement" he cares for is diplomatic. Free trade, one of the cornerstones of post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, is conspicuously absent. Indeed, the president's anti-trade campaign rhetoric, the "Buy America" provision in the stimulus package, and tepid support for reviving the Doha Round of international trade talks have signaled to the world that America is closed for business.  
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June 9, 2009- News Clips - GLOBAL POST- A Colombian experiment in nation building

 
By John Otis. Vista Hermosa, Colombia The rows of white containers on the edge of this Colombian farm town bring to mind FEMA housing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
But rather than a botched response to disaster, these trailers signal Colombia’s commitment to an experiment in nation building that is providing insight for American planners in Afghanistan. Located inside an army base on the edge of the Macarena mountain range in southern Colombia, the so-called Fusion Center brings together Colombian government agencies, local politicians, police and army troops as well as U.S. military and development experts. They have been tasked with pushing Marxist rebels out of the zone, eradicating the drug crops that finance the insurgents, and building roads, schools and clinics to win over a hostile local population.

 

 
It’s a formidable task. But after two-and-a-half years, the U.S.-backed pilot program known as the Macarena Consolidation Plan is showing some encouraging signs.
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June 9, 2009- Press Releases -   Colombia's President, Alvaro Uribe Velez, appointed current Presidential Adviser for Social Action, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, as new ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS). Ospina will continue to lead the Colombian diplomats in Washington until June 18.  
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June 8, 2009- Press Releases -     The Minister of Interior and Justice Fabio Valencia Cossio,and the Deputy Minister of Justice, Miguel Ceballos, will meet Monday in Washington with Secretary of Justice and Attorney General of the United States,Eric Holder. Minister Valencia highlighted the desire of the Colombian government to have  the highest level dialogue with the Government of United States in all aspects of justice and coordination in the fight against all forms of crime that affect societies both countries. He referred to the importance of the justice issues, which arethe responsibility of the Executive branch, to be directly addressed by the Secretary of Justice of the United States and Minister of Justice of Colombia.T his approach has not been recorded for over 10 years. The main points to be discussed at the meeting are: Extradition The Government reaffirmed its international cooperation policy of fighting organized crime through the extradition of Colombian nationals linked to crimes such as drug trafficking and money laundering, among others. Judicial cooperation The Government pays special attention to judicial cooperation through virtual audiences to facilitate the prosecution with Colombians extradited to the United States and seek mechanisms to facilitate further collaboration with the Colombian justice system. Strengthening the Criminal Accusatory The Minister of Interior and Justice will discuss the development of the Criminal Accusatory System in Colombia and request technical support for its strengthening. Fight against drugs In developing the policy against drug trafficking, the Interior Minister of Justice will discuss various aspects of Colombia's action against drug trafficking and strengthening mechanisms to combat the whole chain, from cultivation to the consumption. Protection for union leaders The Minister of Interior and Justice will inform the Attorney General and Secretary of Justice of the United States on the actions the Colombian Government has taken  to strengthen the policy of protection of Human Rights.  Special attention will be dedicated to  the protection of social, political and religious leaders in the country.  The Minister highlighted a fact that points to that direction with  the adoption of a bill,presented by the government, which increases the penalties for crimes against trade unionists, civil servants, journalists, human rights defenders, candidate or  aspiring candidates to office, political and religious leaders.    
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June 5, 2009- News Clips - NYT - Shakira’s Children

By SCOTT MALCOMSON. Last October, on the plane from Miami to San Salvador, Shakira stared into her MacBook, pondering. The next morning, she was to give a speech on the importance of early-childhood development to an Ibero-American summit meeting that would gather most of the heads of state of Latin America as well as the prime minister and king of Spain, the prime minister of Portugal and a select group of somewhat lesser dignitaries.

 
This was not the usual venue for Shakira Mebarak Ripoll of Barranquilla, Colombia. That would be stadium-size, and could be anywhere in the world, filled with thousands and thousands of fans, the people who have made her among the biggest-selling female vocalists on the planet. But Shakira has this other side she began charitable work right after she had her first big hit, at 18 and two years ago she, her longtime boyfriend, Antonio de la Rua, and some of their friends conceived the idea of a loose union of Ibero-American singers, called ALAS (wings in Spanish), which would use the power of their fame to mobilize fans, and the politicians fans vote for, to advance the cause of early-childhood development. Since then they had rallied most of the biggest pop stars in the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking worlds; held enormous concerts in Mexico and Argentina; gained the philanthropic support of some of Latin America’s richest families (as well as Warren Buffett’s son Howard); and captured the attention of a good number of heads of state. Now, flying down to El Salvador, staring at her Mac, she was, perhaps, approaching her moment of political breakthrough.

It’s already too long! she said, smiling resignedly as she typed out her speech. And I still have more I want to say. Tap tap tap. At the back of the eight-seater plane was the Spanish megastar Alejandro Sanz, scratching out his own speech, his girlfriend next to him, in a leggy bundle, nursing a bad cold. His relaxed focus contrasted with Shakira’s nervousness, and periodically Shakira ribbed him about it, which made him grin. Tap tap tap.

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