The Colombian City of Barranquilla selected as the American Capital of Culture 2013

The city of Barranquilla (Colombia) has been selected as the American Capital of Culture 2013, Xavier Tudela, President of the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals (www.ibocc.org) reported today. The cultural capitality will coincide with the 200th anniversary since Barranquilla was granted the title of town. The city was founded between 1627 and 1637.
 
The International Bureau of Cultural Capitals selected Barranquilla as the American Capital of Culture (www.cac-acc.org) of the next year "for the city's clear commitment to make culture a strategic element of social cohesion, civic revitalization, economic development and international promotion," as stated by Xavier Tudela.
 
So far, the following cities have been chosen as American Capital of Culture:

2000: Mérida (Mexico)
2001: Iquique (Chile)
2002: Maceió (Brazil)
2003: Panama City (Panama) and Curitiba (Brazil)
2004: Santiago (Chile)
2005: Guadalajara (Mexico)
2006: Córdoba (Argentina)
2007: Cusco (Peru)
2008: Brasilia (Brazil)
2009: Asuncion (Paraguay)
2010: Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)
2011: Quito (Ecuador)
2012: São Luis (Brazil)
2013: Barranquilla (Colombia)

Barranquilla is the capital of the Colombian department of Atlántico. It is located on the west bank of the Magdalena River, the main waterway of Colombia, a few km. from where it flows into the Caribbean Sea. In 1993, it was constitutionally organized as a special, industrial and port district. It is one of Colombia's most important and active sea and river ports, and the main commercial, industrial, cultural and educational centre of the country's Caribbean Region. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it acquired strategic and economic importance as steam navigation on the Magdalena River began, which allowed it to become the country's main export port until the first half of the twentieth century. Since the late nineteenth century until the 30's of the twentieth century, Barranquilla was the main point of entry to Colombia of thousands of immigrants and of advancements such as aviation, radio and telephone, as well as several sports.
 
The city, which has a population of nearly two million people in its metropolitan area, hosts the Carnival of Barranquilla, named as a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2003.
 
When the news of Baranquilla's selection as the American Capital of Culture 2013 reached João Castelo, Mayor of São Luís (Brazil), which is the American Capital of Culture this year 2012, he stated that "it was with a great joy and immense satisfaction that we received the selection of our beloved São Luís as the American Capital of Culture 2012. It fills us with joy to be the cultural reference of the Americas during the entire year 2012. The Cultural Capital coincides with the 400th anniversary of the founding of our city. I wish to Barranquilla that its American Capital of Culture 2013 will serve to promote social and economic development of the city through the enhancement and promotion of your heritage and cultural diversity, generating employment, income and contributing to the formation of citizenship of your people”.
 
Barranquilla will have a featured international promotion during the year of the American Capital of Culture 2013 thanks to the collaboration of Antena 3 International and Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic, both official television channels of the American Capital of Culture.
 
From Madrid (Spain), where the headquarters of Antena 3 TV is located, Mar Martinez-Raposo, Director of Antena 3 International Channel, said: "We want to congratulate all Colombians to join for the first time the American Cultural Capitals group. Since 11 years, Antena 3 Internacional has been collaborating as official channel on the promotion and dissemination of cultural capitality, both in Latin America and in the Hispanic area of United States of America and in Europe. A contribution of which we are especially proud because of sharing the richness of our language, culture and history with all the American peoples. We reiterate our congratulations and support to men and women of Barranquilla on their appointment as American Capital of Culture 2013".
 
From Miami (Florida, USA), where its headquarters is, the President of Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic Enrique R. Martinez said: "It is with great pleasure that we see the growth and progress of Colombia reflected in the city of Barranquilla, having been nominated American Capital of Culture 2013. Discovery is proud to air the representative capsule of the effort, culture and progress of the Colombian people through Barranquilla, and so contribute to the advancement of the cultural capitals in the American hemisphere"

The American Capital of Culture (www.cac-acc.org),
established in 1998, aims to promote inter-American integration from the cultural field, contribute to a better awareness between the peoples of the Americas, while respecting their national and regional diversity, highlighting the common cultural heritage at the same time. The American Capital of Culture is a member of the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals (www.ibocc.org), promotes international cultural capital cities and establishes new bridges of cooperation with Europe, the continent that has the cultural capital established since 1985. It is accredited to the Organization of American States (OAS) and has recognition of Latin American and European parliaments. Antena 3 International and Discovery Networks Latin America /U.S. Hispanic are the two official television channels of the American Capital of Culture.

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Xavier Tudela, President of the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals, and Elsa Noguera, Mayor of Barranquilla.

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