Ex-President of the United States, Bill Clinton, is now in Medellin as part of his participation in the first World Forum of Coffee Producers from July 10 to July 12.
Clinton has visited Medellín about ten times before, having visited some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city including the infamous “Comuna 13”. After visiting these same neighborhoods again, he was impressed.
“A formerly violent community is now a prosperous and peaceful community”, he said, praising the efforts that have been made to improve residential areas of the city.
Clinton supported Colombia’s government during his term of office, providing $1.2 billion US dollars to fund “Plan Colombia”. The operation trained Colombia’s armed forces to battle narcotrafficking, increasing assistance in the eradication of coca plantations, and helped to rid the city of Medellín of organized crime gangs who controlled much of the city. He also provided $230 million US dollars to help promote the city’s economic development and to invest in law reform.
Relations between the United States and Colombia have recently soured, as coca production in Colombia has increased dramatically and the current Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, has refused to cooperate with the United States to eradicate coca plantations in the country’s remote regions.