Juan David Romero

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Poster Image from the TV-Series 'Garzón Vive' which aired in Colombia in 2018.
EL TIEMPO

Profile 360° → Remembering Jaime Garzon, Colombia's Brave Comic

This coming August will mark 20 years since the death of Jaime Garzón, an unlikely martyr in Colombia's long-running battles with organized crime, drug trafficking and government corruption. Despite studying law and working in politics, what eventually turned him into one of the country's most influential figures through the 1990s was his sense of humor. His comedy routines, often critical of corrupt politicians, earned Garzón enemies in the highest of ranks of Colombian public life. At the pinnacle of his fame on August 13, 1999, after getting involved in a hostage exchange and peace negotiations with the guerrillas, he was shot to death by two hit men on a motorcycle in Bogotá. He was 38. The entire country mourned the man who'd given Colombians an outlet for their frustration and hopes of changing a fundamentally violent and corrupt nation. Though progress has been made in Colombia, notably the end to decades of civil war, the case of his murder remains unsolved.

FLASH BIO

Place of Birth: Bogotá, Colombia

Date of Birth: October 24, 1960.

Education: Studied law and political sciences at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Previous Experience: Mayor of Sumapaz, a district in Bogotá.

Breakthrough: In 1987, former director of newscast "Noticiero de las 7" Antonio Morales heard that "some mayor" had become a local sensation as a skilled and talented impressionist. Captivated by the story, Morales invited Garzón to his show for a demonstration, thrusting Garzón into the national spotlight.

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 Marcel Hutfilz, managing director of Scooterhelden on the streets of Berlin.
EL COMERCIO

Scootergeddon: Electric Scooters Invade World Cities

Love them or hate them, electric scooters are changing the very ways we think about mobility and transportation in a city.

PARIS — They're taking over and flooding the streets all across the globe. Sometimes, you can spot them hanging from trees. Some of them are Birds, but the majority are actually Limes. And some people are terrorized, to a degree that they are not only trashing them, but also pooping on them. I'm actually talking about scooters. Electric scooters. If you're still wondering, just look up #Scootergeddon on Twitter.

There are good things about them, obviously: Scooters are cheap, they help reduce traffic, they are environmentally-friendly, they generate jobs, they don't require any physical exertion, they save time and they're simply fun. However, the negatives can be staggering, particularly for pedestrians and car owners, who have to deal with dozens upon dozens of these machines lying around on the streets, sidewalks, building entrances and random locations — some entirely broken. Not to mention death-related accidents in Spain and the U.S.

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From left to right: the author, a volunteer and two refugees in Chios, Greece
Greece

When They Mistook Me For A Muslim In Greece

A Colombian-American deals with different misconceptions in different parts of the world. Ask him who he is before you ask him where he's from.

ATHENS — "Where are you from?" The burly Greek port policeman demanded in English as he looked down, holding my American passport in front of me. I was barefoot, kneeling on the floor, wrists cuffed behind. Other officers were gathering around. "Is this passport your passport?" one repeated. "Are you from ISIS?"

At this point they'd already punched and stepped on me, yelling in Greek what I assumed were insults. Soon after, I was also forced to open up my phone and my computer, and was locked in a dark cell. Later, after having seen photos of my boyfriend and me on my iPhone, they figured out I was gay. "Are you a homosexual?" They passed my phone around, mocking and laughing — but this humiliation was the last of my concerns. I knew what they were doing was wrong and unlawful, but as the hours went by, I began to wonder how far they'd be willing to go. Am I going to be raped? I asked myself. Am I going to die?

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Watch: OneShot — Marco Gualazzini''s Almajiri Boy
Geopolitics

Watch: OneShot — Marco Gualazzini''s Almajiri Boy

An iconic image from Italian photojournalist's reportage from Chad, which won the World Press Photo award for environmental series.

Italian photojournalist Marco Gualazzini of the Contrasto agency was awarded the 2019 World Press Photo award for environment, stories, for his reportage on the humanitarian crisis underway in the Chad Basin as a result of massive desertification. Among the consequences are the jihadist group Boko Haram exploiting the hardship and hunger. Charged with symbolism, this particular image from the series was also a finalist for World Press Photo of the Year.


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Esteban and Sebastián at the Kiss-a-Thon with a sign saying 'Faggots, but not cowards.' 
LGBTQ Plus

Furia Marica - The Meaning Of 'Faggot' And LGBT Rights In Colombia

A nation became so attached to a nasty word that it has lost some of its edge, but not all of it.

PARIS In a country like Colombia, which has somehow taught itself to use the word gonorrhea as a term of endearment, it is not surprising that the word marica (or faggot) has also indelibly established itself into our everyday jargon. Except for its obvious use as an insult or when reappropriated by the LGBT community, the word seems to mold itself to any situation. "Quiubo marica!" we yell to greet our friends. "Que maricada," we say when we make a mistake. "Usted si es mucho marica," we tell each other when we are doing something stupid.

It's so ingrained into our society that at times one could almost say the word has been utterly extracted from its ignominious past. But don't be fooled.

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OneShot - Gorillas Strike A Pose For Selfie
Sources

OneShot - Gorillas Strike A Pose For Selfie

Looking coooool....This selfie of two park rangers at the Virunga National Park with two female gorillas mimicking human behavior went viral after it was posted on Instagram this week. "Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities!" said the park, which is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The fact that the two gorillas, Ndakazi and Ndeze, were walking upright is apparently not so rare. The cool posing on the other hand may be linked to the fact that the pair were rescued and raised by humans.

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Atena Lucana, Italy
Sources

All Greek To Them: How Three Colombians Found Athens In Italy

Three Colombians ended up in Atena Lucana, Italy, instead of Atenas, Greece.

PARIS — Nobody would be happier than me if there were direct flights between Bogotá and Athens. As a native Colombian residing in Greece, I have had to make connecting flights between these two homes from time to time. The back-and-forth from the Greek capital to my hometown has landed me in different international airports with layovers of all kinds: Bogotá-Miami-Barcelona-Athens, Athens-Rome-Miami-Bogotá, Bogotá-Miami-Paris-Athens and onward-and-elsewhere.

But for three fellow Colombians (with whom, for the record, I have absolutely no connection), trying to get to Greece turned into a true lost-in-translation odyssey.

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