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HiperBarrio: Ituango Without Electricity

Palo Blanco village in Ituango. Image courtesy Andria Jaramillo.

Palo Blanco village in Ituango. Image courtesy Andria Jaramillo.

About a year ago the activities of HiperBarrio expanded to Ituango in Antiqua, located 195 miles northwest of Medellin, Colombia. Ituango, a small municipality with a population of less than 50000 inhabitants recently became a shelter for refugees fleeing fighting in the Colombian countryside.

Workshops on citizen media were arranged in Ituango in conjunction with the Catholic University of the North, with students from the Diocesan School John Paul II. Nora Catalina Urquijo lead the workshops and we have highlighted her experience earlier.

Now, because of these workshops a few bloggers emerged and we can read many stories about Ituango and its inhabitants.

Paisajesituanguinos writes about a typical day in Ituango and how full of life it is. However this bustling life was put to a halt because of lengthy power cuts.

Roxana shares how these power cuts affect the society:

It all began on the evening of Saturday 15. Ituango was in its normal routine, the music of the bars, some young people pulling cash, families in their homes, some others were sleeping. From one moment to another strong blackout disrupted our lives and everything went dark, leaving out the night in its full splendor. When dawn arrived at the village, it was still without light and everyone was wondering why. A few hours after they began to hear rumors, some said three electric towers were being put up, other than in St. Joseph, after a while we realized we had actually been in the valley. Ituango was without power for four days. The first day people still continued with the monotony, with the difference that businesses closed early and young people were anticipating to goto their homes, for their warm home. The place was quiet and could sight diversity of colors and stars in the magnificent sky, this resulted in many meetings between neighbors, since there were bonfires on every street corner with people around, some sharing a chocolate bread, some rice with milk, or just a friendly company.

Read the rest here.

Ituango without electricity

Ituango without electricity. Image courtesy Angelesituango

AngelesItuango describes his experience during the blackouts:

From six in the evening the city began to darken and apart from abundant dark silence fear among Ituanguinos escalated. Previously the first leg of the warning light was that “the guerrillas entered a war,” but this time it happened for something else, thank God, the reasons for the lack of light was obviously because of the eve of elections.

The next two days were spent practically the same, did not see people in the streets after ten at night, and it was because it was totally dark. Businesses were forced to close early and those with power generators got rich charging the battery of cell phones. For many, the lack of electricity meant a great economic loss as the products that needed refrigeration were damaged.

However the blogger finds some solace here:

The lack of electricity meant for me, and perhaps for many a chance to get closer to our family, friends and neighbors, living moments are priceless.

Nora Catalina informs that power service has been suspended again in Ituango because of the guerrillas which has affected almost 100,000 people :

At the time, both Ituango other four municipalities in northern Antioquia (San Andrés de Cuerquia, Toledo, San Jose, Mountain and Little) are without light, because, apparently, FARC guerrillas blew up a power tower.

Adriana Jaramillo writes in a recent post:

From Saturday June 19, because of elections, the guerrillas (perhaps the cause of such damage) wanted to push causing suspension of power service, and people are anxiously awaiting for arrival of this service on Tuesday, I have heard many times by the people that question why the community has to pay the price?

Somos Ituango writes how girls between 12-15 are physically abused by relatives or armed groups.

Nora Catalina writes about a YouTube Video she found:

In just 37 seconds, this ituanguina who has lived the harsh reality of displacement tells us:

“It's a very horrible story …”

Immediately I remembered the entry in which Adryjaramillo referred to this phrase.

Nora also says:

It is sad that our country continues in this absurd war in which most affected the civilian population.

Translations were done using a machine translation tool.

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