So far, despite the demonstrations that are occurring nation-wide, Medellin has been quiet (and peaceful.) Yesterday was a bank holiday (so stores and such) were closed and the streets were almost deserted in town.
However, protest organizers claim over a million participants in many of Colombia’s smaller cities – including areas of Sucre – so it’s good that I cancelled a planned trip to Sincelejo. Preliminary reports from outlying areas detail a small amount of arrests and some minor damage (from rock throwing) but the details vary widely between government figures and those released by the event’s organizers (by a factor of 10 to 100, in some cases.)
I was planning to check in with one of our favorite surgeons, Dr. Cristian Barbosa (cardiac surgeon) who has started operating in Sincelejo since problems at Hospital Nuevo Bocagrande shuttered the cardiac surgery program there. So I am disappointed not to be able to report on the program in Sincelejo (and cardiac surgery programs in rural Colombia, in general) but I’ll head out there on my next trip to Colombia.
The coffee farmers in the Coffee Triangle plan to join the protests today.
Meanwhile, the international press has finally gotten wind of activities here – with articles in the Wall Street Journal, and business papers. Of course, living in the offices of Colombia Reports.com certainly gives me easy access to the most updated news available.