I have heard from friends with ties to Columbia, that conditions have dramatically improved across the country, although impressions from an ugly past still linger around the world.
Tonight during Anthony Bourdain's show about Columbia, I watch as he visits Medellín and interviews locals - many of whom suffered enormously during the awful Pablo Escobar period of the 1980s. The people appear proud, hopeful, even happy. Mr. Bourdain says something to a local that instantly reminds me of what a rueful Richard Nixon told the White House staff in the final hours of his presidency:
"Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."