Colombia

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In Colombia, Breaking Lockdown Can Get You Killed

Armed groups are enforcing their own COVID-19 measures, rights group says

(Newser) - In many parts of Colombia, people who violate lockdown measures will have to worry about a lot more than COVID-19. Rebel groups and drug gangs have been enforcing curfews and lockdowns stricter than anything the government has in place and killing some of those who disobey, according to a Human... More »

DEA Agent Hit With 19 Counts in 'Black Eye' to Agency

Jose Irizarry and his wife were arrested Friday

(Newser) - A once-standout US federal narcotics agent known for spending lavishly on luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been arrested on charges of conspiring to launder money with the same Colombian drug cartel he was supposed to be fighting, the AP reports. Jose Irizarry and his wife were arrested Friday at... More »

Colombia May Sue Over Walmart's Cocaine Santa Sweater

Government agency wants monetary damages for affront

(Newser) - A Colombian government agency is demanding money and an apology from Walmart after it offered a Christmas sweater appearing to show Santa with three lines of "Colombian" cocaine. "Santa really likes to savor the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow,"... More »

The Cocaine Saved Them. Then It Got Them Busted

Suspected drug smugglers found clinging to bales in Pacific after boat overturns

(Newser) - They can thank their drug bundles for both saving their lives and possibly ruining them. ABC Australia reports that three men from Colombia were plucked out of the Pacific over the weekend after spending hours in shark-filled waters. The alleged drug-runners, who were said by authorities to have departed from... More »

Is That Your Real Hair, or Are You Smuggling Drugs Under a Bad Toupee?

$33K worth of cocaine was quickly spotted on nervous guy arriving in Spain

(Newser) - A nervous-looking man flew from Colombia to Spain with what authorities there describe as an "oversized" toupee beneath his hat. Beneath that hairpiece was roughly a pound of cocaine bundled up and stuck to his head, according to police in Barcelona, who shared before and after images of the... More »

Entire City to Undergo Exorcism via Helicopter

Move comes after girl's murder in Buenaventura, Colombia

(Newser) - A Colombian port city plagued by violent crime is about to get an exorcism. The bishop of Buenaventura, Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya, will hop in a helicopter Sunday in order to sprinkle holy water over the streets while reciting a prayer meant to expel demonic spirits. In... More »

Venezuela's Border With Brazil 'Completely' Closed

President Nicolas Maduro warns border with Colombia may be next

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been pushing back against efforts to send humanitarian aid into his country, an initiative led by opposition leader Juan Guaido. The latest development in that conflict came Thursday night, with Maduro announcing on state TV that he was closing the border with Brazil "completely... More »

10 Die in One of Most Protected Places in Colombia's Capital

Holdout rebel group suspected in Bogota attack

(Newser) - A car bomb exploded at a heavily guarded police academy in Colombia's capital on Thursday, killing 10 people and injuring dozens in an attack that recalled the bloodiest chapters of the country's drug-fueled guerrilla conflict. Videos circulating on social media show panicked officers hauling injured colleagues on stretchers... More »

Gang Puts Big Bounty on Head of a Dog

Drug-sniffing Sombra has been relocated in Colombia because Urabeños clan is after her

(Newser) - A drug-sniffing Colombian police dog with nearly 250 arrests under her collar recently tracked down more than 10 tons of coke from a major drug gang. The gang's reaction: a bounty on the pooch's head that may be up to $70,000. The Telegraph reports that Sombra (Spanish... More »

Japan's Fans 'Make Statement' at World Cup—With Trash Bags

Japanese fans came armed to clean up the stadium after their team's match

(Newser) - They showed up at the World Cup match sporting trash bags. That's what the BBC is reporting about fans of "Samurai Blue," the Japanese national soccer team that beat Colombia's players 2-1 Tuesday in Russia. After the soccer teams' jobs were done in Saransk's Mordovia... More »

Distinctive Cannons Confirmed Find of 'Holy Grail of Shipwrecks'

US team helped detect sunken Spanish galleon

(Newser) - With treasure worth up to $17 billion still at the bottom of the sea, experts aren't ready to disclose the exact location of a Spanish galleon sunk during a battle in 1708—but they did have other details on the "holy grail of shipwrecks" to reveal this week.... More »

Potential Billion-Dollar Treasure Triggers a Letter From the UN

UNESCO fears Colombia plans to commercially exploit the wreck of the San Jose

(Newser) - The United Nations cultural agency on Friday called on Colombia not to commercially exploit the 300-year-old wreck of the Spanish galleon San Jose, which is believed to contain a cargo worth billions of dollars. A UNESCO experts' body protecting underwater cultural heritage on Friday sent a letter to Colombian Culture... More »

Families Blame Tom Cruise for Deadly Plane Crash

They're suing over American Made crash

(Newser) - Tom Cruise and American Made director Doug Liman are partly to blame for a plane crash that killed two pilots during filming in Colombia, according to a lawsuit from the pilots' families. The families blame Cruise and Liman for deciding to make a "high-risk, action-packed motion picture" and say... More »

Pope Laughs Off Popemobile Mishap

'I was punched, I'm fine'

(Newser) - Pope Francis laughed off an accident in the Popemobile on Sunday that left him with a bruised eye and a bloodstained cassock. The 80-year-old quipped: "I was punched. I'm fine," as he continued his tour of Cartagena, Colombia, the Telegraph reports. The Vatican said Francis received ice... More »

Colombia Will Sign Cease-Fire Before Pope Visits

The government has struck a deal with the country's last major rebel group

(Newser) - Colombia's government will sign a bilateral cease-fire with the nation's last remaining major rebel group ahead of Pope Francis' visit this week, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Monday. Santos said the agreement will be signed later in the day in Quito, Ecuador, where negotiations with the National Liberation... More »

UN: Production of Coca Surges in Colombia

Production at levels not seen in two decades

(Newser) - A new UN report shows that coca production in Colombia has surged to levels not seen in two decades, the AP reports. The report Friday confirms US government findings from March that production is skyrocketing. The culprits are varied and include President Juan Manuel Santos' decision in 2015 to stop... More »

Colombia OKs What May Be World's First Legal 'Throuple'

'We wanted to validate our household,' says one of the 3 men in relationship

(Newser) - "We want to make what's intimate, public." So says 23-year-old Victor Hugo Prada, who is gearing up to marry the two loves of his life after Colombia agreed to legalize a three-way union between Prada and his two boyfriends—perhaps the first such legalized "throuples" union... More »

Latin America's Longest Conflict Steps Toward Its End

Colombia's FARC guerrillas lay down nearly all arms, declare end to insurgency

(Newser) - Colombia reached a major milestone on its road to peace Tuesday as leftist rebels gave up some of their last weapons and declared an end to their half-century insurgency. The historic step was taken as President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to a demobilization camp in Colombia's eastern jungles to... More »

Dozens Missing After Party-Boat Disaster

6 dead after boat sinks on a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin

(Newser) - A tourist boat packed with about 160 passengers capsized Sunday on a reservoir near the Colombian city of Medellin, leaving at least six people dead and 31 missing, officials said. Rescuers including firefighters and air force pilots in helicopters searched for survivors at the Guatape reservoir where El Almirante ferry... More »

In Mudslide's Grim Aftermath, 'Bodies All Over'

Colombia dealing with aftermath of devastating flooding, blames hard rain

(Newser) - A grim search for the missing resumed at dawn Sunday in southern Colombia after surging rivers sent an avalanche of floodwaters, mud, and debris through Mocoa, killing at least 200 people. People pried through piles of rocks and wooden planks that entombed homes. Streets were covered in thick sand, mud,... More »

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