When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

EL ESPECTADOR

In Colombia, Peso 'Banknote Trees' Ripe For Harvesting

'Arbol de billetes', or 'banknote tree' in Cali, Colombia
"Arbol de billetes", or "banknote tree" in Cali, Colombia

BOGOTA — Maybe money does grow on trees. This week, in the Ciudad del Río sector of Medellín, Colombia's second largest city, passersby were surprised to see a tree "flowering" with banknotes. Fastened to the tree's branches (with laundry clips) were real peso bills.

Too good to be true? Some people seemed to think so and chose to just observe. But others took the liberty of "harvesting" the money, helping themselves to a banknote or two. Looking on, according to witnesses, were eight coordinators to keep things from getting too rowdy.

A similar scene unfolded near the Museo de la Tertulia, in Cali. And in Bogota, the capital, a tree in the El Virrey park was adorned with money the previous day, April 2.

The big question, of course, is where the money came from.

Alberto Meneses, an events organizer in Medellín, was one of many caught off guard by the sight in Ciudad del Río. "I asked what was happening and nobody said anything. But people began arriving and taking 20,000 and 50,000-peso bills (worth $7 and $18 respectively), so I decided to grab one," he told the Spanish news agency EFE. "It was exciting to see so much money in one place. Everyone was happy."

The big question, of course, is where the money came from. Who put it there and why? One theory is that it the trees were decorated as part of a sociology study. A bank employee said he saw a cameraman by one of the trees filming people's behavior. Others claim it was a publicity stunt by the online film company Netflix, though in a Twitter post, Netflix Latin America denied any involvement. Still others think it was organized by an artist collective.

Either way, the stunt seemed to produce a fairly universal reaction: pure delight! For a few minutes, anyway, the money trees brightened up Colombia's largest cities with some unusually giddy smiles.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest