Colombia and Poland

Alan Johnston introduces personal insights, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition: Imogen Foulkes visits the villages along the Amazon which have been denied healthcare by Colombia's drug-fuelled wars, while Adam Easton risks all - or at least his dignity - to find out why medieval re-enactments are now so popular in Poland.

Hidden casualties of the war on drugs

In every war zone, the violence itself - actual fighting - is only ever part of the problem. In the chaos, civilians struggle to secure the most basic things, like food, electricity and medical help. Around the world, the Red Cross tries to ease those kinds of difficulties, and often manages to reach people and communities cut off from the outside world by conflict.

Imogen Foulkes has been travelling with one of its teams in a part of Colombia blessed by nature, but ravaged by the confrontations between the Army and the FARC rebel forces.

35 kilograms of history

Despite the popularity of medieval themes in films, books, comics and popular culture today, not many people alive today would really have enjoyed the Middle Ages. Too many wars, and sieges ... knights clanking around in armour, worrying about the plague ... it really wasn't as romantic as some today might see it.

But Adam Easton says that despite the historical record, in modern-day Poland, the public just can't get enough of the "Age of Chivalry" - even if it's just been reconstructed.

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10 minutes

Last on

Thu 11 Aug 2011 03:50 GMT

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