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| 6/16/2009 12:00:00 AM

Colombia rocker Juanes gives back

Jun 16 -- The award-winning musician lends his star power and riches to help land mine victims and others who suffer in this nation pummeled by civil war and drug violence.

Reporting from Bogota, Colombia -- Down and out in L.A. and trying to break into the music scene in the late 1990s, Colombian rock star Juanes could have used a handout. Now, 11 million album sales later, he's one of this country's best-known philanthropists.

Like fellow Colombian singer Shakira, the 36-year-old lends his star power and cash to alleviate suffering in this war- and drug-ravaged nation, advocating for land mine and kidnapping victims, peace and reconciliation, and preschool education.

The Medellin native, whose full name is Juan Esteban Aristizabal, transcends Colombia. He has parlayed his socially conscious music, prestige from 17 Latin Grammy awards and apolitical stance to become a sort of regional peace ambassador -- part Bono, part Jimmy Carter.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.

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