Colombia: The Land of Opportunity

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3 Responses

  1. maria says:

    Colombia, not Columbia

  2. Ryerson says:

    Michael,
    You’ve touched on some positive insights into the investment environment in Colombia, but if we look a little deeper there are some very troubling issues. Primarily, Colombia has an extremely rampant transnational criminal element that is pervasive throughout the country (Andean triangle – Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and the rural zones). With the dismantling of the AUC paramilitaries – several small splinter groups known as the Rastrojos, Aguilas Negras, and Urabeños have renewed the pressure to extort, traffic arms and narcotics, as well as kidnap. Furthermore when and if the Colombian government someday reaches an agreement with the FARC and ELN to disarm, the challenges to ‘re-integrate’ the 10,000+ former rebels who know little else than how to fire an AK-47 and roam the jungle will be extreme. Let us pause and remember certain similarities of young men with guerrilla training and the culture of lawlessness that ensued (ie. El Salvador).

    Finally, while Colombia’s Superintendencia (financial regulatory body) has a set of strict rules that are comparable to the SEC and FINRA, by no means is the business of money laundering, and financial skimming a very challenging endeavor in this country. American companies beware, FCPA violations can thrive in Colombia.

    Yes, Colombia has come a long way in 10 years, but by no means is it a place in which business is business. Investing and capitalism aside, perhaps most troubling as a consequence of the violence is the fact the Colombia has 3.5+ million internal refugees. This is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Jordan, Sudan, but a country in our own hemisphere – just 3,5hrs from Miami.