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That's no joke. I have a good friend from Bogota, who now lives in Madrid. When she goes to visit her family, she does not take her daughter with her....she is too afraid of kidnapping.

I know it's hard to believe, but I wasn't trying to be funny. Extreme caution is required for visiting Bogota. Do not ride buses. And watch out for cabdrivers too.

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Going to Cartagena

 

Walking the Coffee Trail in Colombia

 

FWIW, the thrust of these two articles seems to be that violence has dropped in some areas of Colombia in recent years, and that tourism has increased in some areas.

 

The US Dept of State reports that kidnapping of Americans has dropped substantially, but visitors should exercise caution. The idea that Colombia has about the same violence level as much of the Carribean or a major US city isn't too comforting to me, at least.

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