aerial view of the Amazon river

Colombia

Spring 2003 | Volume II, Number 3

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

Guest Introduction

Guest Introduction: Colombia

Guest Introduction: Colombia

A hundred years ago, Colombians had at least one reason to by happy: the end of a long civil war between 1899 and 1902. However, in general, the life of a typical Colombian was not easy. …

Beyond Armed Actors

Vallenpaz

Vallenpaz

Parish of La María in the outskirts of Cali, May 30, 1999. As more than one hundred men, women and children of all ages attended Sunday religious services …

The National Conciliation Commission

The National Conciliation Commission

I remember it clearly. I picked up the phone at Flota Mercante Grancolombiana, a soon-to-be liquidated Colombian shipping line where I served as an external legal advisor. On the other line …

Managing Peace

Managing Peace

In a recent interview, a Salvadoran businessman recalled what ex-combatants of the demobilized Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) told him when they met …

Fundación Social

Fundación Social

Colombia—well you all know the statistics are quite famous: if in the United States the same number of homicides were to be proportionally committed as in Colombia, 1.5 million people per …

Women Waging Peace: A Civil Society Initiative

Women Waging Peace: A Civil Society Initiative

English + Español
“Not too long ago a street vendor told me he was meeting with other colleagues and with several Universidad de los Andes professors in order to see how some difficulties in their trade could be overcome. I attended a pair of these meetings in which a noticeable general skepticism permeated. My relationship with the street vendors began once again after I decided to undertake a “guided project” to study …

When the Disciple is Ready: A University Student’s Testimony about Work with Street Vendors

When the Disciple is Ready: A University Student’s Testimony about Work with Street Vendors

English + Español
“Not too long ago a street vendor told me he was meeting with other colleagues and with several Universidad de los Andes professors in order to see how some difficulties in their trade could be overcome. I attended a pair of these meetings in which a noticeable general skepticism permeated. My relationship with the street vendors began once again after I decided to undertake a “guided project” to study …

The Turkish Boat: A Child’s Viewpoint

The Turkish Boat: A Child’s Viewpoint

English + Español
Toñito was the last child baptized in Father Eustaqui’s evangelizing campaign. The proof is that all his younger friends have names that are not Christian such as Bryan, Wilmer and Hayler. The Franciscan priests used to come by every year baptizing the babies and marrying their parents. They hadn’t returned since those lands of the Atrato River filled up with people from Medellín who initially set up …

The Social Enterprise Knowledge Network

The Social Enterprise Knowledge Network

English + Español
In Colombia, a war-torn country with a civil society attempting to address the economic and social marginalization of many of its citizens, one is continually faced with unanswered questions. How does one create or revitalize programs that strike an adequate balance between the social and the economic? How does one ensure that social initiatives have economic viability, and that economic projects …

Contextualizing History

Photoessay: Shooting for Peace

Photoessay: Shooting for Peace

Photoessay: Shooting for PeacePhotographs By The Children of The Shooting For Peace Project As this special issue of Revista highlights, Colombia’s degenerating predicament is a complex one, which needs to be looked at from new perspectives. Disparando Cámaras para la...

Traces of Memory

Traces of Memory

“At dawn all was desolation and ruins. Amid the rubble lay the incinerated remains of hostages and guerrillas, their weapons, also calcified, beside them. Few of the bodies retained their human …

Colombian Institutions

Colombian Institutions

On one of my recent journeys to Colombia, I bought a toy bus for my kids—a replica of the Transmilenio coaches, the modern line of public transport that crosses Bogotá from north to …

At the Center of Things

At the Center of Things

It would be difficult to imagine the violence in Colombia occurring in the United States. Before the actual formation of the U.S., the first Anglo colonizers were convinced …

Black in Colombia

Black in Colombia

English + Español
One out of four Colombians is black. Yet, Colombia’s black community historically has faced discrimination on a racial, social, political, economic and cultural basis. And the community now faces a new risk. On the Pacific Coast, in particular, it is caught in the crossfire between guerrillas …

Vallenpaz

State Collapse and Early Response

English + Español
In 1992 Boutros Boutros Gali launched his widely known Agenda for Peace. This coincided with the beginning of a change in the United Nations tending to widen its scope of action to confront the internal conflicts that multiplied in the world after the end of the “bi-polar order”. …

Necrological Flora

Necrological Flora

English + Español
Colombia’s worsening conflict has caused millions of people to move from rural to urban areas and a significant exodus of the middle and upper classes to foreign countries. It has also created a culture that, by witnessing numerous images of death on a daily basis, has come to visually …

Colombia’s Political Economy

Colombia’s Political Economy

English + Español
Colombia is a society characterized by its deep social exclusion. More than 60 percent of the population is poor—more than 11 million Colombians do not even earn a dollar a day and cannot maintain minimal levels of nutrition. Furthermore, 80 percent of the rural population is poor and nearly 60 percent is destitute. …

Colombia

Colombia

English + Español
Is Colombia’s state a “failing state”? Does Colombia run the risk of a state collapse? This Latin American nation has worried the international community for several years. One of the worse humanitarian catastrophes in the world, Colombia averages more than 25,000 murders yearly. …

Bogotá

Bogotá

English + Español
“Our Hispanic sister republics have called our capital the Athens of South America,” declared Monsignor María Rafael Carrasquilla, rector of Bogotá’s Our Lady of Rosario School in his opening day speech in 1895. The business about the name wasn’t true, but what mattered was the pathos …

Between Legitimacy and Violence

Between Legitimacy and Violence

English + Español
In the year 2000, I spent a sabbatical year at the Faculty of Business Administration at Bogotá’s Universidad de los Andes. Not including short visits, ten years had passed since I had left Colombia, and I had a mix of memories and fixed beliefs about Colombian life. In 1994, I had published a piece on Colombian history that a colleague called “a gloomy vision” of the country. It well should have been. I had left …

Photoessay: Shooting for Peace

Photoessay: Shooting for Peace

Photoessay: Shooting for Peace

Photoessay: Shooting for PeacePhotographs By The Children of The Shooting For Peace Project As this special issue of Revista highlights, Colombia’s degenerating predicament is a complex one, which needs to be looked at from new perspectives. Disparando Cámaras para la...

The Other Colombia

Colombian Immigration

Colombian Immigration

A walk along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, reveals the world of Little Colombia: neighborhood streets lined with small bakeries; the smell of fresh bread and arepas blend with the sounds of cumbia, the national musical style.

Bogotá Libraries

Bogotá Libraries

Last year, 9-year-old Jonathan Huertas and his three younger siblings spent their vacation indoors watching television—their mother was too afraid to let them play in the streets …

Bajucol

Bajucol

The curtain goes up, and to the beat of mapale, a group of youngsters start their annual dance performance. The Colombian Youth Folklore Ballet (Bajucol), a group of Colombian adolescents …

At the Movies

At the Movies

In 1993, Colombians were not unused to seeing President César Gaviria on national television giving the latest reports on the wars on drugs and against the guerrillas. This time, though, the President …