As the international community is closely following the recent rejection of the peace deal in Colombia, another key issue has long been ignored in this war-torn nation: there has been an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northern Colombian province of La Guajira, a remote and impoverished desert peninsula.
Cannabis cultivation operations are dumping sediment, pesticides, fertilizers and trash into the rivers, diverting water for irrigation which has left some riverbeds dry and others unable to sustain the wildlife that depend on the region's waterways, and killing large numbers of wildlife with rodenticides meant to keep rats out of the cannabis plants.
It is important to understand that neither President Santos nor others in Colombia's government (or other countries' leaders) have suggested we replace the failed war on drugs with a global "free-for-all." Rather, he suggests we replace what is now "a war on people who use drugs" with new and improved "drug control policies."
The Canadian dollar may not be in line with the U.S. dollar anymore, but that doesn't mean it's time to stop traveling. In fact, there are plenty of places around the globe where your Canadian dollars can make you a millionaire, literally. After all, $100 CAD is equivalent to roughly 1,004,817 Indonesian Rupiah and 168,842 Tanzanian Shillings.
Since 1993, Spike Lee's Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks has tackled tough issues and produced compelling drama that has gives a voice to communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media. Today, Spike Lee is giving a new generation of filmmakers a leg up and giving other communities a voice.
Canadian investors are well-known in Colombia, particularly in the oil and gas sector. The crisis proved to be a setback to impressive investment activity, but it has since rebounded. Canadian direct investment in Colombia is now over 70 per cent higher than at the 2008 peak, at just under $1.8 billion.
We were sweltering in Cartagena. The hottest I've felt on this trip. We had to get out of that city. I looked a the map in the Couchsurfing app on my phone and sent a couple of couch requests to towns that looked a reasonable day's ride South. Alex in Monteria responded and invited us to come stay at his apartment.
Crossing the Darien Gap isn't easy. There's no road, (I double checked) so you can't ride, thus the options are to fly or to sail. Flying costs about 700$ per bike, plus whatever it costs for you. There are many sailboats that take bikes, but they cost over 1000$. Each. To travel about 200 nautical miles.