Manuel Rueda is a freelance journalist based in Bogota, Colombia where he has been living for the past five years. Manuel has covered the peace deal between Colombia's government and the FARC rebels, Venezuela's political crisis and how Colombia is adapting to the arrival of more than one million Venezuelan migrants. He is a dual citizen of Colombia and Venezuela and always ready to travel. Last year he also produced stories in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.
As neighboring countries reopen their economies, thousands of Venezuelan migrants are leaving the country again to look for work. But the pandemic is making their route through South America tougher.
The US-based 40 days for Life organization has ramped up activities in Colombia ahead of the constitutional court's ruling on granting women full access to abortion until the fourth month of pregnancy.
A year has passed since 1,400 soldiers defected from Venezuela's military hoping for the ouster of President Nicolás Maduro. But Maduro is still firmly in control and some soldiers feel they gambled their careers away while they struggle to get by in neighboring Colombia.
Unrest in Bolivia worsens as protesters want to restore a popular government that has reduced poverty rates and has given the nation’s long-neglected Indigenous people a voice. Critics see the backlash to interim president Jeanine Añez as a dangerous effort to undermine democracy.
The Indigenous president recently won his fourth consecutive election and could be in power for 18 years. His opponents say the vote was rigged.
The price for coffee beans is half what it was in 2014 and some farmers in coffee-producing countries say they need a cartel to protect them from rock-bottom prices.
Conflict & Justice
In 2016, thousands of FARC fighters made peace with the Colombian government and moved to "transition villages" with plans to start over. Now they're fighting for their lives in rural villages where murder rates are skyrocketing and jobs are hard to come by.
Colombia has taken in 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees since 2015 with a flexible stance toward migration, but some Venezuelans say that Colombians target them with xenophobic slurs and insults on the streets.
Health & Medicine
The USNS Comfort served thousands of desperate Venezuelan refugees in Colombia who’ve fled their country’s life-threatening food and medical scarcities. The ship anchored off Riohacha, Colombia as part of a three-month, four-nation Latin American tour, helping with everything from hernia operations to eye cataract removals.
An estimated 40 buildings collapsed in Tuesday's earthquake, but hundreds more sustained serious damage, leading many residents to evacuate.