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EL ESPECTADOR

As Zika Spreads, A Colombian Region Asks "Why Here?"

Health authorities in Cúcuta, northeastern Colombia, are struggling to stop the spread of mosquito-borne infections like zika. And the blame game has begun.

Anti-Zika fumigation campaign in Caracas, Venezuela
Anti-Zika fumigation campaign in Caracas, Venezuela
Marcela Díaz Sandoval

CUCUTÁ — Colombia has been unable to control the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads the Zika virus, chikungunya and dengue fever. The failure to control the insect is perhaps most evident here in Cúcuta, a damp city on the Venezuelan border.

The Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, seems to have made a particularly fierce appearance in Cúcuta. In 2014, 27,000 people here caught chikungunya — which leads to fever and joint pains — one of the highest rates in the country, and now some 2,000 residents have Zika. The Health Ministry qualifies the city as the most infected in the country alongside Girardot and Barranquilla.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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