The city of Bogota -- lying at the mountainous heart of Colombia and currently the centre of political troubles -- presents a startling variety of styles, peoples and climatic conditions.
SV PAN from young boy holding box of US cigarettes to market in poor section of city
SV Woman selling vegetables busy market with market stalls, and women sitting near sacks of vegetables (3 shots)
CU Poster, PULL BACK to GV of Market (two shots)
GV Poverty-stricken areas of Bogota with Shanties next to railway line (three shots)
SV Children playing in shanty town and by railway track (two shots)
GV Young child playing in rubbish heap, runs inside hut
CU Modern car parked outside prosperous looking house PULL BACK to SV
GV PAN Luxurious houses and flats in better of town (three shots)
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Background: The city of Bogota -- lying at the mountainous heart of Colombia and currently the centre of political troubles -- presents a startling variety of styles, peoples and climatic conditions. Perhaps the most dramatic of these contrasts in the Colombian capital is that between the living conditions of the rich and poor.
SYNOPSIS: The ragged children some with smuggled U.S. cigarettes for sale play around the street market areas in a city where a large percentage of the Population is illiterate, health is a major problem and law and order hard to enforce. bogota's population doubled over the last ten years as people flocked from the countryside looking for work. It now stands at about six million.
Most of the poverty-stricken workers and the many unemployed live in squalid shanty towns to the south of the city. Colombia is a melting pot of different races:" Indian, black, European and people of mixed blood. The country has no less than 398 different Indian tribes.
In Bogota, robbery in the streets is said to be commonplace and gangs of sometimes quite small children are among the worst offenders. Guide books warn the tourists not to carry jewellery, watches or cameras.
In sharp contrast to the shanty towns are areas where more prosperous members of the community live. Beautiful terraces of old colonial houses are a legacy of 300 years of Spanish rule in Colombia. These signs of comfortable living dramatise the plight of the poor in Bogota.