It was with great interest that I read Brandon Webb’s piece about his travel to Bogota, Colombia. Having spent time there during the heyday of the Medellin/Cali Cartel, I was really interested in how much the city has changed. Bogota is beautiful and huge. I had heard from other SF guys who were there recently or had families there (quite a few SF guys married Colombian women) that since the peace deal with the FARC, tourism has been back and things are much better in Bogota. Yet, back then, Bogota, and Colombia were a much more unsafe place. And even a donut could be dangerous… 

Colombia wasn’t considered safe for American military troops assigned to either the American Embassy or the Colombian Military Headquarters (CAN). Nevertheless, Bogota, and Colombia overall, was a fantastic place.

If memory serves me right, Chico, where Brandon was staying, is only about five minutes from the Zona Rosa. This is a T-shaped area of luxury shops, cafes, and upscale restaurants. The rich and famous Colombians would hang out there. If you were a single guy, that is what Special Forces guys would call “a target-rich environment.” 

7th SFG presents its guidon in Colombia
U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldiers present their unit’s guidon December 7, 2016 during an award ceremony in Florencia, Colombia. A Colombian Army Counter-narcotics Brigade, known as BRCNA, honored the U.S. Special Forces unit with the unit’s “Bandera de Guerra” military medal. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Equite/U.S. Army)