Miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2016

| 2009/03/17 00:00

Colombia's New Frontier

Mar 17 -- As bankers and policymakers prepare to assemble for the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank later this month, the location of the gathering — Medellín — speaks volumes about the political and economic transformation of the host nation, Colombia.

Colombia's New Frontier

Just a few years ago, few foreign financiers would have dared to set foot in the city. Home to one of the country’s most notorious drug cartels, Medellín was plagued by kidnappings and ruthless violence. The government managed to largely subdue the cartels only to see Colombia’s leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups muscle in on the drug trade and do battle with each other across much of the country. Death squads, jungle drug labs, politicians bought with drug money: All were routine in a nation that has been torn by violence for the better part of 60 years.

That Colombia can hardly be found today. The country has enjoyed an unprecedented economic boom in recent years, thanks to the tough security policies and pro-market stance of the government of President Álvaro Uribe. Since first being elected in 2002, Uribe has used billions of dollars in U.S. aid to crack down on drug-funded insurgents and regain control over much of the country’s territory. The greatly enhanced security, combined with the government’s fiscal discipline and business- and trade-friendly policies, has attracted a surge of foreign investment. The economy has enjoyed its strongest performance in 50 years, with growth jumping to a peak of 7 percent in 2007.
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