Minister Rodrigo Rivera has announced that in the first week of February he will travel to Washington DC to consult his U.S. counterpart, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on Colombia’s U.S.-backed efforts to combat drug trafficking.

Political institutions tend to respond slowly in adapting to challenges. Longstanding problems typically arise and evolve long before policymakers and government officials are able to identify them.

Over the course of my week in Cartagena, I have become more steeped in the language, culture and attitudes of Colombians.

Julia Salvi, a native of Colombia, recalls bringing her Italian husband Victor to Cartagena for the first time, around early 2005.

¿A cuántos aquí les gusta el tango? (Who here likes tango?) asked the emcee of last night’s concert.

A thick blanket of humidity hangs in the air, and the sunlight is blinding, even behind layers of fog. This is Cartagena de las Indias, a port city on Colombia’s northern Caribbean coast and the seat of the Festival Internacional de Música (International Music Festival).

Samuel Moreno, mayor of Bogotá, and his predecessor Luis Eduardo Garzón are under investigation by Sandra Morelli, Colombia’s Controller General, for corruption in the awarding of contracts for Bogotá’s TransMilenio public transit system.

El abrazo que se dieron los presidentes Juan Manuel Santos y Hugo Chávez, frente al cajón del fallecido Néstor Kirchner durante su velorio hace dos semanas en Buenos Aires, fue un símbolo inequívoco de la recomposición de las relaciones entre ambos mandatarios.

Colombia will serve as a rotating member of the United Nations Security Council this coming January for a two-year term following approval of its uncontested bid to represent Latin America and the Caribbean alongside Brazil.


Like what you're reading?

Subscribe to Americas Quarterly's free Week in Review newsletter and stay up-to-date on politics, business and culture in the Americas.