Sunday December 17, 2017
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This is what world’s famous druglord has to say about 4 decade old drug war


Sebastian-Marroquin-p-549x366Juan Pablo Escobar Henao, son of Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar Gaviria, has said he is in favour of ending the global fight against drugs.

He told Spanish news agency Efe in an interview on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro that after 40 years of “clear and compelling” failures in this war, it was time to start speaking of peace.

“The war has meant that people like my father have had the luxury of submitting, through violence and corruption, an entire country,” Henao said on the occasion of the publication of his book, “My father, Pablo Escobar”, by Planeta editorial.

The first-time writer was doubtful if the current global policy against drugs can put an end to what is considered a “public health problem”.

As he says, there would always be people like his father to “challenge and subjugate all democracies that may be necessary”.

According to Henao — who for years lived in exile under the name of Juan Sebastian Marroquin Santos — one disproportionate example of that war would be the 3,000 deaths that occurred in Colombia over “a single man” — his father.

After more than 20 years since the death of ‘El Patron’ (The Boss), his eldest son feels no anger or resentment towards the Colombian state. However, he said: “It is unacceptable that we are being prosecuted for my father’s crimes, I understand the Colombian law says crimes are not inherited.”

The author, who will present his book on Wednesday at the Cervantes Institute in San Paulo, was also disappointed with his paternal family, who were sitting “on the side” of the bosses of the Cali cartel, the primary rival of Escobar’s Medellin cartel, “begging them” to kill the three closest people to the druglord: his wife (Henao’s mother) and their two children (his sister and himself).

Henao is certain they were the ones who betrayed his father and although he has forgiven them, he will never forget what they did.

“When you forgive you get rid of the pain caused to the perpetrator, but when you forget there is a risk of history repeating,” he said confirming he has no family ties with them. This betrayal resulted in a chase that led the “Cocaine King” to live life in hiding for nearly a year.

This, ironically, was the “best” time the author spent with his father, till his death in an ambush by the Colombian army on December 2, 1993. “My father had no other way and chose to be found that day by the authorities,” said Henao. He broke his “golden rule” and used a phone, which alerted the Colombian authorities to his location.

According to Henao, 14 bullets in his father’s gun would always be reserved for his enemies and the last one for himself. Henao also accused the forensic doctors, who performed his father’s autopsy, of lying because “they had been threatened with death to change the report”.

The Cocaine King’s son, who lived a life of fantasy and fairytale, says he has now laid bare the naked truth behind all that happened years ago, so that no one can tell tales to his son, the grandson of the man who terrorised an entire country for years.


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Millions go hungry as Zimbabwe faces the worst drought in decades

The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands.

A photo taken on February 7, 2016 shows the fast drying catchment area of the Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. Image source :

GENEVA—  Zimbabwe is currently facing a huge drought and the President of Zimbabwe has declared this as “state of disaster”. It has faced many regional drought before but this year in 2016, it got worsened by the El nino weather phenomenon. This weather phenomenon has also affected countries like South Africa, Malawi and Zambia causing death of thousands cattle, depletion of reservoirs and spoiling.

U.N. has confirmed that more 3 million people are going hungry due to this drought. The impact of low rain and low crop yields following two years of drought is painfully visible in Matabeleland and other dry lands said Bishow Parajuli U.N. Resident Coordinator of Zimbabwe.

“I recently visited that area with a number of donors and ambassadors; we could really see the desperation and severity of the situation.” said Parajuli.

A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source :
A man touches dried land which used to be a water source. Image source :

It is being considered as the worst regional drought in whole decade and some say it is likely to get even.

The United Nations have appealed for $360 million so that assistance can be provided to more than 3 million people. The assistance will include all the important needs like food, water, health, nutrition, sanitation and protection.

$70 million has already been received and only $290 million is left says Parajuli. He urges donors to respond to this appeal and be generous.

“Given Zimbabwe is a landlocked country and also the whole southern Africa region is affected by El Nino, and lack of surplus of maize, it is very critical to plan in advance in terms of importation and supply chain delivery ,” said Parajuli. ” So, earlier response will really help save lives and suffering among the population.”

Parajuli says he is particularly worried about the so-called lean season between September and March.  This is the period between harvests when farmers’ food stocks are at their lowest.

He says people will be severely affected by the lack of food, and many will not be able to count on their cattle as a lifeline as tens of thousands have died from lack of water and grazing land. (VOA)


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US Masterchef girl to make Gujarati food famous


By Sugandha Rawal

In the US, she is ‘the Indian girl from Masterchef’! Indian American chef Hetal Vasavada, who has been treating her foreign friends on the reality TV show with khichdi and coconut curry soup, says food from her native Gujarat — also the home of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — is neglected in the west. She hopes to bring the cuisine in limelight in the most “traditional” way.

Vasavada, 28, who was one of the top six finalists of the last season of Star World show “MasterChef US”, said that most people in the west think that Gujarati food is all about dollops of sugar. But she wants to dispel the notion as she feels regional cuisine is an answer to foreigners who think Indian food is “heavy” and “creamy”.

“I think Gujarati food is neglected a lot, especially in restaurants in the US. There are south Indian restaurants with dosa, and then there are Punjabi restaurants. A lot of people think that Gujarati food is just lots of sugar… But it’s not. It is definitely healthy and very tasty,” Vasavada said over the phone from Bloomsfied in New Jersey, where she stays.

There are other things to Vasavada’s stride – be it being the first Indian vegetarian to be a part of the foreign show or be it popularising the sombre Indian khichdi. Now, she wants to do more to widen the perception about Indian food in the west.

“The first way I did it was on ‘Masterchef’ when I made khichdi, and then I made other authentic dishes. But I think that the best way to introduce (the cuisine) is to make it in a traditional way and show people what Gujarati food is, especially to some westerners who say that ‘I don’t want to have Indian food because it is very heavy, so creamy.

“Gujarati food is for them. It can be very light. It is Indian food, but a different kind of Indian food,” she said.

Vasavada is happy about the growing interest around Indian food on foreign shores, as she shares that now people are willing to experiment beyond the butter-chicken and chicken tikka.

“I think a lot of people are venturing out and trying new food and different versions. There are two reasons why Indian food is becoming famous — because of different spices, and because people are ready to try different food.

“When I was younger there were not many ethnic restaurants in America, but now Indian restaurants are only 30 minutes driving distance,” she said.

Vasavada left behind the business world to pursue her dream in the culinary world. She was a business developer at a tech start-up and, post her “Masterchef US” stint, is now treading the path of a “food consultant”.

“You get recognised at so many places and people say ‘Oh, you are the Indian girl from Masterchef’. Post the show, things have been wonderful because I get to pursue my passion as my career,” said Vasavada, who is pregnant with her first child and hopes to pen a cookery book post delivery.

Asked if hailing from the same state as Modi gets her more attention, she said that “a lot of time when I say I’m from Gujarat in India, people get excited and say ‘Oh… like the prime minister!’ And it does feel good”.

(IANS) (pic courtesy:

One response to “US Masterchef girl to make Gujarati food famous”

  1. They would call you the P word if your were a male. It seems the women of the Indian race are welcome but not the male. I was watching Masterchef UK and the two chefs, Rhuksmani, and Farshana did curry along with an East End white girl. The Chicken curry ran out immediately. The English girl just was not in the frame. Had an Indian man made curries they would have been told, like Hardeep Singh Kholi when he was on Masterchef, they could only cook curry and curry was not Michelin star material. I remember when we ran a stall and when my sisters held the stall, the white men swarmed like moths to a flame, When Indian men did the same curry and held the stall (same cook),people said we were garlic breath, curry munchers and f*ck off back to our country. The English are so duplicitous. The same thing happened when hip hop and rap were played in the common room by Indian men and the white students complained and the same said were in record stores searching for what we had played and they found so objectionable in the common room. When I went into hospital my mum used to bring in food from home as food always ran out. The White nurses, patients complained about the P*ki food, and smell of P8ki spices. I held a party for them after I recovered, and I thought the English do not like curry and spices as they had made my mum cry when they called us P*ki and chilli heads. They did not touch the English food, and went straight for the curry. Whilst calling us P*kis, and garlic breath. They asked why did you cook so little Indian curry and so few samosas? I said I thought you didn’t like Indian food as you made my mum cry for the smelly curry? They all could not look at me in the eye, or maybe it was my smelly garlic curry breath they didn’t like I had? One of the English nurses was so nice, she said to me, you were in hospital for 6 months, and towards the end when you got better, from a serious car accident you wore aftershave which she said told me I wanted to live again, and all the people white patients and majority of nurses complained, when upon leaving you gave it to Matt the white person next to you, who really looked after me, when he wore it people and the nurses said it was beautiful smelling. Then Matt said when Kubla wore it, you complained, and the patients, and most nurses, said you don’t ever want to praise or give accolades to an Indian. this sums up the most English.Some like Matt, and Linda the Nurse.