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Antioquia Governor Aníbal Gaviria announced last night (January 15) that following consultations with Colombia’s Health Ministry, a new total quarantine hits the entire Medellin metro area (including Oriente) from 6 pm Saturday, January 16 to 5 am Monday, January 18.

Initially, only the city of Medellin had entered into total quarantine last night, as Covid-19 cases pushed intensive care unit (ICU) capacity here to an alarming 97%.

But now, the Valle de Aburra cities of Envigado, Sabaneta, Itagüí, Caldas, La Estrella, Bello, Copacabana, Girardota and Barbosa are also hit by quarantine, along with the Oriente (east of Medellin) cities of Rionegro, Marinilla, La Ceja, El Retiro, Guarne, El Carmen de Viboral and El Santuario, according to the Governor.

“Pico y cedula” shopping restrictions are still in force in Oriente and non-Medellin cities today (Saturday), meaning that people with cedulas ending in even numbers can still shop until 6 pm today.

Those exempted from quarantine include essential workers, home-delivery workers, people in emergency situations, those traveling to or from airports with booked flights, pet walkers, elderly- and child-care helpers, construction workers and people doing routine domestic chores such as outdoor gardening, according to the Governor.

Meanwhile, Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz added in a separate announcement last night that metro Medellin and Oriente must impose an additional curfew from 8 pm to 5 am every day from January 18 to January 22, although home-delivery services will be allowed.

 


Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz announced last night (January 14) that another 71,473 vaccination specialists soon will join the existing 7,000 nationally qualified Covid-19 vaccinators via a new training program that starts today.

The “Management of Vaccination Against Covid-19 in Colombia” course now underway with Colombia's SENA training institute includes more than 42,000 nursing assistants, 13,000 registered nurses, 6,800 doctors, 3,500 dentists, 3,500 public health workers and 2,200 bacteriologists.

Of the 71,473 new trainees, Antioquia accounts for 8,637, according to the Ministry.

Course materials cover basic information on Covid-19 infection, technical and operational guidelines for vaccination, preserving the ultra-cold-temperature-storage chain, an “open bottle policy”on how to handle vials of vaccines, patient monitoring and data-information systems for correct registration of those receiving vaccines.

By end-January, yet another batch of trainees will enter the national program. For that upcoming session, “we will be inviting other professional health workers with a whole contingent that is working with us throughout the year, and with the territorial entities, the EPS [health insurance networks] and IPS [hospitals and clinics], in vaccination programs,” Ruiz added.


Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero just announced this morning (January 15) that Medellin is imposing a total quarantine from 8 pm this evening (Friday) until 5 am Monday January 18 – contradicting an earlier plan that only would have imposed pico-y-cedula shopping restrictions and late-night curfews.

“Medellín will have a [total quarantine] curfew this weekend and recommends the same measure for the rest of the mayors of the metropolitan area. It starts at 8 pm today, Friday, January 15, and runs until 5 am Monday, January 18,” Quintero stated via his Twitter account this morning.

As in previous orders, the quarantine exempts essential workers and emergencies and allows home-deliveries of food and medicines.

Medellin’s 97% occupancy of intensive care units (ICUs) is dangerously close to collapse, which explains the extreme quarantine measure, Quintero said.

Note: Antioquia Governor Anibal Gaviria and Area Metropolitana de Valle de Aburra (AMVA) director Juan David Palacio had yet to comment as of this writing (11 am January 15) whether the entire Medellin metro area would join Medellin in a total quarantine this weekend. Medellin Herald will update this situation immediately should this change.

Prior to today's action, Governor Gaviria and Mayor Quintero had announced January 13 that “pico y cedula” shopping restrictions and nightly curfews would continue from January 14 through 5 am Tuesday, January 19.

On a parallel front, Colombia President Ivan Duque announced that existing national regulatory guidelines -- including strict health protocols aiming to limit the spread of Covid-19 -- will continue at least through the end of February.

The new restrictions “take into account the [Covid-19] contagion indicator in the department, which has remained between 2,500 and 3,000 daily cases, equal to the highest levels that were recorded in the months of July, August and October of last year,” according to Governor Gaviria.

Hospital intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy here continues above 85%, triggering a mandatory “red alert” warning through January 31, which bans non-emergency surgeries, according to the Governor.


Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz revealed last night (January 12) that the first 850,000 people here to get Covid-19 vaccinations will get their shots in February.  Assuming compliance with projected delivery and distribution schedules, the tentative vaccination plan includes:

February: 850,000 people vaccinated.
March: 3,862,900.
April: 1,800,000.
May: 7,968,900.
June: 3,360,000.
July: 8,431,567.
August: 6,382,667.
September: 3,779,567.
October: 7,212,900.
November: 3,212,900.
December: 2,097,011.

The COP$1.5 trillion (US$432 million) budgeted on vaccinations so far include Pfizer vaccines -- soon arriving here -- while Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines are scheduled to arrive between April and May 2021, Ruiz said.

The initial plan would vaccinate the 34 million most-vulnerable Colombians, with contracts for 29 million immunizations “already guaranteed,” Ruiz said.

Under the “Covax” multinational vaccine-purchase program, Colombia already has 20 million doses guaranteed (two per person required), hence this program will cover 10 million inhabitants.

“An agreement has been established with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer for 10 million doses, which will be destined for 5 million people, as well as with the pharmaceutical company Janssen, a single dose, for 9 million people, and with AstraZeneca with 10 million doses for 5 million Colombians,” according to the Ministry.

“Distribution mechanisms are being established with Pfizer. It is projected that vaccinations will begin with the prioritized populations in February,” then more doses through the Covax program will continue in March, Ruiz said.

“Probably May, June and July will be the months where we have the greatest amount of vaccinations. Those from Janssen and AstraZeneca would be arriving in the country from April or May 2020,” he added.

Meanwhile, the national government “has established talks with other pharmaceutical companies, whose vaccine developments are expected to be approved by international authorities for emergency use in the coming weeks. Surely, these would be applied for the second half of this year,” he said.

Colombia today has about 3,000 vaccination points and 7,000 vaccinators, "but we must grow in that capacity, for that reason the training course ‘Management of Vaccination Against Covid-19 in Colombia’ was developed with [Colombia’s national training institute] SENA, with which we seek to support the territories throughout the vaccinator training process," Ruiz said.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, bacteriologists, nursing and public health assistants or technicians will be able to access the training course, he added.

Ultra-Cold Storage Capacity Grows

On a related front, Gerson Bermont, director of prevention at the Ministry of Health, revealed that Colombia now has two special large-capacity warehouses in Bogota for initial receipt of “up to 40 million vaccines at a single moment” while nationwide, "Colombia has 37 collection centers for the storage and conservation of vaccines."

“The first vaccines to arrive in Colombia require deep freezing and from this moment there are eight [ultra-cold freezer] distribution points in Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Pereira,” he said.

“At the national level, we have 2,975 vaccination points equipped with cold equipment certified by the World Health Organization (WHO,” Bermont added.

CDC Mandates Covid-19 Tests International Arrivals

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced yesterday that starting January 26, all international airline passengers must show proof of having passed a Covid-19 infection test within 96 hours of boarding a flight to the USA from Colombia (or from anywhere else). As a result, the USA joins Colombia and  some100 other nations mandating Covid-19 infection tests and/or quarantines for all international passengers.

“With the U.S. already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the [North] American public,” according to CDC.

“Before departure to the United States, a required test, combined with the CDC recommendations to get tested again three-to-five days after arrival and stay home for seven days post-travel, will help slow the spread of Covid-19 within U.S. communities from travel-related infections,” according to CDC.

“Air passengers are required to get a viral test [either PCR or antigen] within the three days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from Covid-19.

“Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, [then] the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” the agency added.


Medellin-based electric power giant EPM announced this morning (January 13) that it has petitioned an Antioquia Administrative Court in Medellin to assume jurisdiction over its COP$9.9 trillion (US$2.85 billion) lawsuit against Hidroituango construction contractors.

The petition to the Court follows the failure last week of a “conciliation” procedure that had been supervised by Colombia’s Solicitor-General.

EPM now simultaneously asks the Medellin Chamber of Commerce to assume arbitration of its related COP$5.5 trillion (US$1.58 billion) claim against insurer Mapfre for its supposed coverage of losses arising from a diversion-tunnel collapse at the Hidroituango hydroelectric project in 2018.

The petition to move the main damages claim against Hidroituango contractors to an Antioquia Administrative Court now faces a venue fight, as the contractors have instead petitioned for an international tribunal to settle the dispute. Rationale: One of the three main construction contractors isn’t Colombian, but is instead Brazil-based Camargo Correa Infra. The other two are Colombian companies Conconcreto and Coninsa-Ramón H.

EPM asserts that it initially moved to bring a “conciliation” suit against the contractors last year because of a supposed two-year legal deadline to bring claims following the April 28, 2018 diversion-tunnel collapse.

This EPM argument is disputed by former Colombia Supreme Court Justice Javier Tamayo Jaramillo, now head of the Medellin law firm of Tamayo Jaramillo & Associates.

In a legal analysis submitted by Tamayo to the “Todos Por Medellin” civic group last month, Tamayo explains that the actual legal deadline for filing such a damages claim instead would come within two years following the expiration of the construction contract, not the two years following the tunnel collapse incident.

“There is almost absolute doctrinal and jurisprudential unanimity in that the expiration date of this type of actions is counted from the settlement of the respective contract, which, to date, has not occurred,” Tamayo states in his legal opinion.

“What was the desire to file a lawsuit against so many defendants without having sufficient proof of their responsibility or even knowing the intensity of the damages or the value of them? Was it a matter of causing a media impact to create the feeling that the previous [EPM] administration was going to let EPM’s actions against those responsible for [the tunnel collapse] expire?”

The new EPM lawsuit claims that the construction contractors as well as insurers Suramericana, Chubb Seguros and Mapfre now must answer its claims in court or else in arbitration.

While Mapfre “has recognized the coverage of the [tunnel-collapse] event and has ratified it in the framework of the conciliation hearings, we are still working on the determination of the compensable amounts in the insurance [policy] conditions, based on the fact that this claim is the largest worldwide in terms of All Risks Construction and Assemblies, and is therefore subject to study and review throughout the insurance market,” according to EPM.

“It is for this reason, and no other, that it was not possible to arrive at a figure that would allow us to satisfactorily terminate the preliminary ruling conciliation process. Mapfre confirmed that its main interest is to cover all compensable losses, in accordance with the insurance conditions.

“Based on the foregoing, the EPM Group ratifies its commitment to advance in the technical adjustment process until compensation for losses is achieved within the framework of the insurance contract signed with the Mapfre company.”

Meanwhile, “in both judicial scenarios, conciliation exercises are contemplated, which offer us a new opportunity to seek a comprehensive solution to the differences derived from the contingency,” according to EPM.

Contractors Dispute Claims

According to the “CCC Ituango Consortium” of Hidroituango construction contractors, they now seek international arbitration and will file counter-claims against EPM.

“The consortium reiterates its interest in demonstrating that in the execution of the civil works under its charge, it has not only acted in good faith but diligently and in accordance with good engineering practices, complying with the designs and instructions provided by Empresas Publicas de Medellin (EPM),” according to CCC Ituango’s official press bulletin, reacting to the “conciliation” failure.

“Having extended the contract at the end of December [2020] by EPM, the consortium will continue executing the work in the same way as it has always done: complying with its contractual obligations, maintaining adequate quality standards and meeting technical requirements. and designs supplied by EPM itself.

“The consortium remains firm in its commitment to take Hidroituango forward, understanding that this requires collaborative work with the other contractors of the project, but above all, having the adequate coordination of EPM so that the objectives of the project are met.

“The CCC Ituango Consortium is led by Camargo Correa Infra and as a [Brazilian] foreign partner we will submit the [lawsuit demand] differences to an international court, where technical and legal arguments prevail to make clear the actions of the consortium in the [diversion-tunnel collapse] contingency of April 2018.

“At the same time, we are forced to seek to compensate the reputational and economic impact that this unique claim has been causing for the Consortium,” the bulletin concludes.

EPM Trade Union Slams Lawsuit Decision

Meanwhile, Sinpro – EPM’s biggest employee trade union – likewise slammed EPM’s failure to settle the claims under friendly “conciliation” terms.

“We have indicated since September [2020] that EPM’s claim of COP$9.9 trillion from the contractors represents great risks for the company’s finances and for the development of Medellin and Antioquia, as there could be a possible counterclaim from the contractors with possible consequences in the qualifications of [Wall Street bond-rating] risk qualifiers and the possible loss of part of the [Mapfre] insurance coverage, without taking into account what it implies for the contractors.

“These are the risks that the Mayor of Medellin, the [recently installed] Board of Directors of EPM and the [recently named] general manager of EPM are now bringing upon the company in a new display of folly where it is evident that personal and political interests prevail over legal interests and of the community,” Sinpro warned.

The Sinpro charge alludes to Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero’s bypassing of the prior EPM Board of Directors last year in bringing a lawsuit against Hidroituango contractors that potentially could cost EPM billions of dollars in counter-claims.

If successful, counter-claims could wreck city-owned EPM’s finances for years or even decades to come – all triggered by politically self-interested, sweepingly populist claims that portray Mayor Quintero as standing-up to Medellin’s “corrupt” business sector.

However, this claim is publicly and sharply disputed by dozens of commercial and industrial trade associations, several trade unions and many civic groups, some of whom are calling for Mayor Quintero to be removed from office via a recall petition.


Smurfit Kappa Colombia on January 4 announced a US$50 million investment in a new corrugated-cardboard plant in Guarne, Antioquia, just east of Medellin.

To make way for the new plant, Smurfit Kappa recently sold a lot in Medellin that hosts its existing, 60-years-old "Carton de Colombia" plant.

Colombia Real Estate Fund-FIC, Arquitectura y Concreto and Londoño Gómez paid Smurfit Kappa US$50.3 million to acquire the Medellin lot for a new urban-development project, according to Smurfit.

“As of the first quarter of 2021, the construction of the new plant [in Guarne] begins, with an investment of US$50 million, including a totally new, state-of-the-art corrugator [production line], and new printing and finishing machines for cardboard boxes, as well as relocation of the current plant equipment,” according to the company.

“The new plant will enter into operation towards the end of 2023, with 50% greater capacity and designed to grow modularly until its capacity is doubled.

“In this way, Smurfit Kappa will generate more quality jobs in the region, both in the construction phase -- around 345 direct and indirect jobs -- and with the expansion of its production capacity. It will also strengthen its portfolio of packaging solutions for the mass consumption, industrial and agricultural sectors, including flowers and bananas, among others.”

The new plant will have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification “for sustainable construction and will make available to customers a 'packaging experience center,' a space dedicated to innovation, where they can experience the design of their packaging with cutting-edge methodologies and tools, exclusive to Smurfit Kappa,” according to the company .

According to Alvaro José Henao, President of Smurfit Kappa for Colombia, Ecuador, Central America and the Caribbean, “with a market that increasingly demands sustainable, innovative and efficient packaging, investing in Colombia continues to be a great bet for the Smurfit Kappa Group.”


Going beyond an initial plan for “pico y cedula” shopping restrictions, late-night curfews and liquor-sales bans from now through this coming weekend, Medellin and Antioquia governments have instead decided to declare a total quarantine from 7 pm Friday January 8 until 5 am Tuesday January 12.

Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero and Antioquia Acting Governor Luis Fernando Suarez revealed the new, stricter measure following consultations with Colombia’s Health Ministry earlier today (January 7).

“Following the guidelines of the national government and prior conversation with mayors of the metropolitan area, whose intensive care unit (ICU) occupation is 87% and the Oriente (east of Medellin) has 99% occupation, we take the following measures in defense of life:

“In these two subregions [metro Medellin and Oriente] a curfew is decreed continuous from 7 pm Friday, January 8, until 5 am Tuesday, January 12. In the other sub-regions of the department, the curfew will continue to apply every day from 10 pm until 5 am Tuesday, January 12.”

A ban on liquor sales likewise is imposed from 10 pm Friday 8 to 11:59 pm Monday, January 11, while "pico-y-cedula" shopping restrictions continue throughout Antioquia department until Monday, January 11, he added.

“In accordance with the guidelines of the national government, mobility will be maintained on the department’s roads for the movement of travelers to the different municipalities or to other destinations outside the department. Likewise, home-deliveries and trips for reasons of urgency or verifiable work [are allowed]," Suarez said.

The stricter measures aim to put a lid on a surge of Covid-19 infections -- seen likely to get even worse following the upcoming “Puente de Reyes” three-day weekend here, Mayor Quintero explained.

The new actions follow Health Minister Fernando Ruiz’s announcement last night (January 6) that all Colombian municipalities and territories with intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rates above 80% should impose quarantines this weekend. That 80% figure would include Medellin and most metro-area towns and cities.

PCR Test Mandate for International Passengers

On a related front, Minister Ruiz clarified that while the recent reimposition of the PCR test mandate for international air-passenger arrivals to Colombia takes effect immediately, passengers that can’t practically get a PCR test in their origin countries right now instead will have to undergo 14-days quarantine upon arrival in Colombia, or else -- starting January 12 -- take the PCR test here.

The international traveler “can state at the [airline check-in counter] at the time he is going to register to take the flight [to Colombia] the impossibility of taking the test [at origin] and that he is going to take it in Colombia. No airline can prevent the person from boarding the plane,” unless the person exhibits Covid-19 symptoms such as fever and respiratory problems, he said.

Ruiz added that when the passenger arrives here, Migration Colombia is not required to demand proof of passing a PCR test at origin. However, the passenger must agree to take the test in Colombia or stay in preventive isolation for 14 days, he said.


The Medellin Mayor’s Office on January 5 issued a bulletin updating plans to begin Covid-19 vaccinations in February. The first phase of 86,526 doses of the vaccine will be administered to front-line health-care workers and adults 80-and-over, next month.

That will be followed by a second phase covering those 60 to 79 plus second-line health-care workers, then a third phase including those aged 16 to 59 and those with co-morbidities, collectively totaling 384,370 people, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“Thanks to the ‘Medellín Me Cuida’ platform, the municipal administration knows the location of the prioritized population,” according to the bulletin. “Seven [ultra-cold] freezers will arrive in the city and will serve to distribute doses to the entire Antioquia territory and other departments.”

The first phase will tap Pfizer and Aztrazeneca-Oxford vaccines in February, according to the national government’s distribution schedule.

Medellin’s Secretary of Government Esteban Restrepo added that “we are working in an articulated manner to achieve a successful process of scheduling and applying the vaccine. We will have 94 vaccination points in the city” manned by 282 vaccination teams, he added.

‘Mi Vacuna’ Scheduling App to Debut

On a related front, Colombia’s Health Ministry announced January 5 that it will debut a cell-phone application called “Mi Vacuna” later this month so that people will know when and where they can get vaccinated.

According to the Ministry bulletin, “the Ministry of Health will have the databases of the population subject to vaccination in order to carry out the identification, assignment of the vaccination appointment and follow-up to the vaccination in the IPS [hospital or clinic] assigned for each individual, by the [EPS health-insurance networks] and the territorial entities.

“Insurers and territorial entities must monitor and confirm the vaccination appointment to users, in order to guarantee access and compliance with hygienic sanitary measures for the prevention of contagion during the vaccination strategy.”

To register for vaccinations, “an access link is currently under development on the Ministry’s web portal, in which any person can enter and through their [cedula] identification number verify the [schedule] phase and stage in which they are to receive their vaccine against Covid-19. If you are not registered, then you can apply by reporting the criteria for prioritization, which will be verified and confirmed by the insurer.

“The EPS (Benefit Plan Administration Entities) must assign each insured user to the vaccination IPS in the municipality of residence and close to home in order to guarantee timely access to vaccination. In the same way, the territorial entities responsible for the health of the uninsured poor population will assign the vaccination IPS under the same conditions of the insurers.

“During the vaccination [implementation], populations will not be massively summoned in order to avoid crowds. In this sense it is necessary that appointments be established by the institutions that provide the vaccination service. For health professionals, this vaccination will be carried out directly in clinics and hospitals with mobile teams in accordance with the strategy established by the territory.

“The IPS must inform each EPS and territorial entity the appointment assigned so that the platform is updated by the insurers and allows the individual consultation by the population to determine the phase and stage of vaccination, as well as the place, date and time of appointment for the application of the vaccine.

“Once the data has been included in the ‘Mi Vacuna’ Covid-19 platform, the population can make queries through the hotlines, website and access the 'ABC for Covid-19' vaccination site. If you meet the criteria for vaccination, then review and remember your appointment assigned by the IPS, access the informed consent [forms] which you must present at the time of vaccination, and attend the vaccination on time.”

Vaccinations will be voluntary, not mandatory, the Ministry added.


Colombia’s Health Vice-Minister Luis Alexander Moscoso announced today (January 4) that following a Bogota federal court order, all international passengers flying to Colombia must pass a PCR test for Covid-19 infections, effective immediately.

Those passengers that haven’t passed a PCR test up-to-96 hours before boarding an international flight to Colombia as of today will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days, Moscoso said. In addition, travelers lacking proof of passing a PCR test and exhibiting symptoms such as fever and respiratory problems cannot board the flight, according to the Ministry.

Staring January 12, those passengers that failed to get a PCR test in country of origin before boarding an international flight to Colombia can instead get a PCR test in Colombia, he said.

The test mandate affects all persons from babies to adults, no exceptions.

Colombia had abolished the PCR requirement last year but a Bogota district court judge ordered its reimposition in November. The Health Ministry at first objected to the ruling but now is forced to comply, Moscoso said.


Medellin and Antioquia governments announced December 30 that a total quarantine will be imposed here from 8 pm Thursday December 31 to 6 am Sunday January 3 because of surging cases of Covid-19.

Acting Governor Luis Fernando Suárez Vélez pointed out that Antioquia is suffering about 2,000 new cases daily of Covid-19, flooding hospitals to dangerous levels of crowding.

Department-wide, Antioquia hospital beds are now almost 83% full, while Medellin is at 87%, Valle de Aburrá at 86% and the “Oriente” (eastern Medellin suburbs) at an astounding 96.7%, he said.

The total quarantine applies to all-but-essential workers and emergency situations. Residents can order food, medicine and grocery deliveries, or make emergency trips to hospitals, but restaurants, bars, pharmacies and grocery stores won’t allow personal shoppers.

More Vaccines Coming

Meanwhile, Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz announced today (December 31) that the nation just inked a deal with pharmaceutical giant Janssen for 9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, on top of earlier deals with other companies for 40 million doses.

“This vaccine will be approved in the coming months by the FDA [U.S. Food & Drug Administration],” Ruiz announced.

The Janssen vaccine, unlike the Pfizer double-dose vaccine, requires only a single dose.

“The reality is that everything will be known with the analysis and data from phase 3 trials, which we are waiting for,” Ruiz said, adding that “this has been one of the lowest-cost vaccines acquired” by the Ministry to date.

People previously infected by Covid-19 and now recovered won’t be in the first phase of vaccinations, nor will people under-16 years old nor pregnant women, he said.

Military personnel, school teachers and people with comorbidities will be in the phase-2 schedule of vaccinations, he added.

Persons seeking vaccinations through their private doctors rather than through the government-funded, nationwide free vaccination program “must register on the [Covid-19 vaccination] platform to have a correct handling of the information and avoiding, for example, a double vaccination,” he added.

“Private individuals will be able to sell [vaccinations]. Surely in the second half of 2021 the countries that bought more than their population requires will be selling. We will have a second wave of vaccine developments, taking into account that there are currently more than 100 developments, and that will lead to lower the price and expand offers privately,” Ruiz explained.


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About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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