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Colombia: Cali a mixtue of vibrant culture and horrific violence
Flying down to Cali on Saturday I was not sure what to expect. International perspectives tend to be dominated by stories of drug related violence. We arrived in a city decked out for a mixture of carnival and Christmas.
Andrew Anderson in Cali, Colombia
We met with amazingly courageous human rights defenders working to defend their communities from the most horrific violence, but I was struck by the contrast between their lively and humorous interaction and the sadness and seriousness of what we were discussing.
Several defenders spoke of the importance of a vibrant culture in sustaining their struggle. An Afro-Colombian human rights defender spoke of the importance of the drum and the tambourine. One of our hosts was the indefatigable Berenice Celeyta who welcomed us to Cali, the world capital of salsa, and lamented that we would not be in town long enough to go dancing. I was glad to escape such a fate, but sorry not to be able to spend more time with such inspirational people.