Operating in Colombia

By By David Esler david.esler@comcast.net
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

But while the FARC may — repeat, may — be assimilating into Colombian society and the cocaine and heroin cartels possibly — repeat, possibly — are being brought under control and eliminated, criminal acts against foreigners can still occur. Colt's Dixon cited a recent case: “A couple of Spanish tourists were kidnapped in the north near the Venezuela border in late May. The FARC has denied they did it, and it seems to be an isolated incident involving visitors simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. A ransom has been requested.”

On the other hand, Dixon maintained, Colombia remains “a standout country” in regarding improvements in security. “It has changed tremendously in terms of stamping out corruption, in part due to the U.S. government enforcing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). All this is good for business.” Nevertheless, he said, “One of our clients that moves about through the country hires security for the aircraft and passengers.”

But Katha House had the last word: “In just about every city in the world, the only thing that makes the news is the bad stuff. So it is with Colombian cities. Consequently, I recommend to you that you have to listen to the locals to understand what's really going on. My Colombian friends say that since the Boston Marathon bombing, they're more afraid to fly to American cities than remain in Colombia ones.”

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