Colombia at 200: Surprising Success
Allies: Colombia is a nation that has been to hell and back — and on its bicentennial, has never been better. Its success offers a lesson that should be copied by other states facing similar challenges.
As Americans, it’s hard not to be proud of the success of Colombia, our best ally in Latin America, on its July 20 bicentennial celebration.
Just 12 years ago, Colombia was deeply dysfunctional, almost a Somalia — a failed state drowning in blood and close to being taken over by narcoterrorists.
Too strategic to ignore, President Clinton made a last-gasp effort to rescue it through Plan Colombia in 1998.
Contrary to expectation, the country renowned for its massacres, assassinations, kidnappings and cocaine came through. In eight years, its murder rate has tumbled 45%, its kidnappings 90%. The United Nations says it’s losing its “crown” as the world’s top coca cultivator and cocaine producer. The International Labor Organization has removed it from its watch list of egregious labor violators.
Today, it has the best business environment in Latin America, according to the World Bank. Its stock market is among the world’s best-performing. Colombia has taken its place as the “C” in the high-growth CIVETS states.