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The protagonists of 2021 in Colombia

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – These are the prominent faces of 2021 in the country:


Aerospace engineer and Nasa flight chief Diana Trujillo was the first Latina woman to be part of the NASA Academy program and later became the engineering team leader that developed the robotic arm of the Perseverance rover sent to Mars this year.

Trujillo also worked on the software at NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory to test its overall mechanical and electrical performance, was in charge of the group that tried whether they could command the robot, and now, with Perseverance already on Martian soil, she is flight director.


The Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, is the visible face of the National Vaccination Plan (PNV) against covid-19 that puts Colombia among the best countries in America in immunization since it will end the year with more than 28 million people with the complete scheme, that is, more than 55% of the population.

Although the plan had difficulties at the beginning of the year, Colombia has received more than 93 million vaccines, a milestone considering the difficulties of other countries to acquire the doses in the international market.


2021 was an unforgettable year for Colombian singer Karol G, who, in addition to winning the award for best reggaeton performance for “Bichota” at the Latin Grammy Awards, broke the record for the fastest Latin female artist to sell out two consecutive shows at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico.

Likewise, her album “KG0516” became in March the most successful production by a Spanish-speaking artist on the Spotify platform worldwide, and she was the first woman to top a Latin American Music Awards nomination list since 2006 when Shakira conquered this distinction at the Latin Grammys.


Lucas Villa, 37, became the face of the protests against the Colombian government after his murder on May 5 in Pereira, in the central Eje Cafetero region.

Villa, whose face multiplied on social networks and in the streets during the social outburst, was shot eight times while participating in a peaceful demonstration, a crime that remains unpunished.


The condemnation by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in October against the Colombian State for the kidnapping, sexual assault, and torture of journalist Jineth Bedoya became a victory for the collective rights of victims of sexual violence.

Bedoya thus reaped the fruits of her struggle against impunity in this case, which occurred on May 25, 2000, when she was conducting a journalistic investigation into arms trafficking inside La Modelo Prison in Bogotá, involving members of the now demobilized United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).


At the age of 12, Francisco Vera participated in the UN climate summit in Glasgow, taking his speech on environmental protection. As the Guardian Environmental Movement creator, he asked adults to listen to children when it comes to building the world they will leave them.

Vera has received congratulations even from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and has nearly 80,000 followers on Twitter and 266,000 on Facebook for his activism.


Mariana Pajón ceded the BMX throne to Britain’s Bethany Shriever in Tokyo 2020 but took silver, the first Colombian to win three medals at the Olympic Games.

With this third medal, after the golds in London 2012 and Rio 2016, “the Queen of BMX” ratified that she continues to be one of the world’s best cyclists.


The cyclist Egan Bernal, winner of the 2019 Tour de France, recovered his best version in the Giro d’Italia, which he won in his first participation.

The 24-year-old Ineos rider had three fabulous weeks and managed the triumph in the last one, in which he knew how to manage his strength to maintain the gap over his rivals.


Anthony Zambrano won the silver medal in the 400 meters at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, a historic triumph for the country because it is the first medal of the national male athletics in a sprint event and a fourth of the country in this sport.

The athlete born in the Caribbean department of La Guajira took silver in the final in which Steven Gardiner from the Bahamas was gold, thus repeating the positions obtained two years ago in the World Championships in Doha and leaving a bronze consolation to an Olympic and world champion, Kirani James from Grenada.


The good performances of winger Luis Diaz in Porto, which today have him as the top scorer of the Portuguese league with 13 goals, have attracted the attention of the big teams in Europe, who are looking for a player who emerged in 2021 at the age of 24.

The Colombian national team also showed these outstanding performances, especially in Copa America. He was the top scorer with four goals alongside Leo Messi and scored the best goal of his career with a scissor kick against Brazil, also nominated for the Puskas Award.

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