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re: Balanced View

Dear Gary,

An excellent repost. Though I do have my doubts about Correa I doubt he will become a Chavez. My mother is Colombian. and as you know I was born in Colombia and I have ancestral ties to Colombia. My great grand-uncle, Francisco Antonio Zea, appointed Sucre as Marshall during a short stint as president of the Congress of Angostura (and fell from Bolivar’s favor I might add) so my heritage is Colombian as well as American and one would think I would prefer Colombia. I have even entertained thoughts of living there but after my last visit to the country decided I could not live there, as beautiful as it is. I simply find Ecuador more comfortable than Colombia. Though both countries have had a history of instability, there is a profound difference in the results of the instability.

Ecuador has never had open warfare between political parties as happened in Colombia in La Violencia of 1948 to around 1958 and some see the present problem as having roots in the Violencia. Though there is crime in Quito, as you say, there is crime in any large city, even in small towns. London is rife with burglaries and muggings. There are areas around Paris that are absolutely no go zones yet I daresay most readers would think nothing of a trip to London or Paris or even living there, except for the costs. As many as 300,000 Colombians died in the violence. Colombia is changing though. Uribe has successfuly reduced the threat of paramilitary groups, both left and right. Cartegena is booming and the road trip from Bogota to Cartegena has become safe and yet, I will be in Ecuador in February, not Colombia.

William Papke