It’s not often that a city known for its 7 a.m. breakfast meetings and workaholic residents also gains renown as a premier party town. Yet in Medellin, Colombia, the paradox begins to make sense very late on a raucous Friday night, when I find myself in a packed nightclub discussing the finer points of entrepreneurialism and urban planning between shots of 60-proof aguardiente. And that’s before I’m hugged by a mustachioed dwarf in a mariachi outfit.
Incoming Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will inherit a drug war that has cost more than 47,000 lives since 2006. He’s betting that the Colombian general who helped take down kingpin Pablo Escobar will help him win.
Colombia, Latin America’s murder capital when Pablo Escobar ran the Medellin drug cartel in the 1980s, produced the region’s best risk-adjusted stock returns over the past decade as improved security bolstered economic growth and foreign investment.
Thirteen-time Colombian champion Millonarios, once owned by a drug cartel billionaire, plans to become Latin America’s first soccer team outside Chile to list shares as new owners and a Harvard University-trained turnaround specialist lead it out of bankruptcy.
The last time Javier Diaz saw his father was when he was 14 and Colombian paramilitaries accused the elder Diaz of supporting guerrillas. That was equal to a death threat at the height of Colombia’s now five-decades-long internal war.
Mexican presidential frontrunner Enrique Pena Nieto named General Oscar Naranjo, the former head of the Colombian national police, as his top security adviser, pledging to launch a more effective fight against the nation’s drug cartels should he win the election in two weeks.