Not long ago, Medellin, Colombia was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The whole country suffered for decades in a four-way fight for power and money and justice. A right wing militia, a left wing militia, drug cartels and corrupt politicians wreaked havoc, leaving thousands dead and many thousands more homeless, injured, terrified. Medellin was the center of the violence and of the drug empire of mafia boss, Pablo Escobar.
But so much here is changing.
In the past 15 years, the government of Colombia has worked hard to stop the violence — first by using violence and, more recently, by negotiating a peace agreement. The economy still relies on cocaine sales — mostly to the United States where demand remains strong — but the country is recovering and the violence is down to manageable levels.
Although Colombia has a long history, the only history that seems to matter right now is the last 50 years, as local politicians and communities find innovative ways of getting back to normal.
And here we are, tres mujeres, in a city that, as tourists, we cannot recognize as a place of violence. We are staying in a neighborhood of trendy cafes, hostels and bars, shaded by trees and the construction of new high rise hotels and apartment buildings. But we also visited less touristic neighborhoods and felt safe and welcome (and subjects of a little extra attention).
So far, we love Colombia!