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Is Colombia switching to the USD?

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bigjailerman
8/12/2019 07:38 EST

Interesting topic..


https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevehanke/2019/08/11/its-time-for-colombia-to-dump-the-peso/amp/

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ParadiseLost
8/12/2019 09:17 EST

Interesting topic but poor article.

Panama is not a good analog for Colombia.

One, it is much smaller, not even a tenth of the population of Colombia

Two, 80% of Panamas GDP comes from services much higher than Colombia

Three, much of Panama’s revenues come from the offshore banking and the canal. There’s no equivalent to those industries in Colombia.

Colombia’s biggest issue is that it came late to the oil market and now the ‘value’ in that industry is devalued because of lower oil prices, a glut of oil (which only becomes worse if Iran and Venezuela sort out their issues) and a move away from fossil fuels. Even the flower industry here has potential issues as movements start to restrict air freight because of climate change.

Panama, with dollarization might be sitting pretty now but if governments around the world start pushing back on tax havens like Panama things might not look so good.

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Electricista
8/12/2019 09:50 EST

Continuous loss of control of the value of the peso is a reason for adopting the dollar. There has not been a recent loss of control. Colombia’s peso has devalued due to reasonable circumstances that would normally devalue a currency. The cons to adopting the dollar far outweigh the pros at this time. Even the author states that inflation has not been a recent problem in Colombia. A devalued peso will help Colombia export products.

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SkyMan
8/12/2019 11:38 EST

Paradise...I agree with you, as the two(2) countries of Panamá & Colombia are vastly different.

When Ecuador converted to the USD
in 1999...many banks had failed & their monetary system was totally out of control....and they needed the stability in their financial system.

Have you heard of any Colombian banks failing recently ? didn't think so. Buena Suerte !

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Elexpatriado
8/12/2019 11:46 EST

All correct except the Venezuela oil production recovery (which would take a minimum 10 years in the best case scenario). And the world moving away from fossil fuels ( basica?y fake news which wont begin to happen for at least 30 years).


The big effect on.oil prices will be;

1. The coming recession which will most likely happen in the next 3 years for sure..which will has very negative impact on oil prices

2. Slowdown. in production growth and eventual decline in the Permian basin ( primarily).and other US tight oil fields in the US. which willl have a positive effect on oil prices in 3 to 1o years..probably be a price spike in the next recovery.after the next recession

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DallasSteve
8/12/2019 11:46 EST

I saw that article this morning. Please correct me, if I'm wrong. My quick read tells me that the author is not saying this is likely to happen. My "take away" it he's suggesting it might be a good idea. I didn't see him offer any evidence that it is going to happen.

I like the current drop in the value of the peso so I hope it doesn't happen. I went to Argentina 20 years ago and they were using the dollar as their currency. But after a few years they dropped it. I think they dropped it so that their congress could spend like drunken sailors. That's not possible when they are using our money.

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Elexpatriado
8/12/2019 12:00 EST

BTW recent devaluation of Peso is less to do with oil price and more to do with flight to safer currencies due to US_China trade war.

The Colombian peso is cheaper now than in 2016 when oil prices were $20 barrel lower and Colombian production was lower( there has been a resurgance back to wards pre 2015 production levels lately)

At any rate, if there is a recession and uncertainty the siver lining wil be even better exchange rates for expats.

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ParadiseLost
8/12/2019 12:26 EST

@elexpatriado yes the Venezuelan recovery would take time but the addition of any Oil doesn’t help the price.

Fake news about the world moving away from fossil fuel? Many examples of countries moving to alternate energy sources. Just because FOX news tells you it’s fake doesn’t mean that other countries aren’t going in a different direction to the US. Europe in particular. Also there’s an increasing popular movement against fossil fuels. Just because business interests want to promote the continued use of fossil fuels doesn’t mean it will happen.

The only way we get back to $100 a barrel for oil is if there’s a significant Middle East incident and that will only be temporary.

The next recession may already be happening. Just a few more tariffs combined with an event like Brexit or the Chinese stopping buying US Debt (or selling off what they own) and spiking US rates will do it. Again, another Republican created recession.

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Elexpatriado
8/12/2019 15:47 EST

NoParadise Lost

I dont rely on Fox News, neither do I rely on Greenpeace propaganda or propaganda coming from AOC and the like and the "Green New,Deal".

I rely on 30 years experience in the energy industry, my Engineering degree, my common sense, what I have seen in developing countries I have lived in and renowned and competent sources like the EIA and IEA.

1. Electric cars only make up 1 % to 2% of the car market now.

2. Even if the sales continue to increase exponentially and they grow to 40% of sales in 20 years, the vast majority of cars ln opwration will be ICE .

3.In addition, light transport vehicles make up only around 25% of the gasoline market, the rest is made up of heavier trucks, truck transport, aviation, marine petrochemicals.The petrochemical portion alone makes up around 10% , around 10 milion barrels per day and is increasing exponentially at 7 to 8% per annum..

?. 75% of the worlds population is just starting to industrialize, and that is where the real growth will come from. Come on..use your common sense..Do you think people whos income is increasing gradually are going to go from.little motos ( like in Colombia) directly to $20,000 Teslas??

Because of the above, oil consumption has been.increasing year upon year , almost entirely for the past 40 years. IN the past 5 or 6 years this has been an increase in consumption of 1 million BPOD or more yearly.See the EIA charts below.

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.php

The rate of increase will be going down substantially this year..but this is because of world economic problems due to the trade war..and nothing to do with the fact a few of your buddies in the US are buying electric cars.

You may dream and hope that tommorow we will wake up and not be using oil ( or natural gas whose use is increasing even faster) but this is fantasy and we will still be using fossil fuels for some functions even.in a 100 years.

I highly doubt oil consumption will even.peak before 2040

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ParadiseLost
8/12/2019 17:04 EST

1. Some motor manufacturers are going to stop building gasoline or at least gasoline only cars. The amount of auto manufacturers budgets going into non gasoline development dwarfs anything else
2. Tesla’s don’t cost $20k. Tesla’s aren’t the only alternative. There are already plenty of small non gas powered cars. No reason motos have to be gasoline powered either.
3. The concept that the reduction this year is due to the trade war is rather far fetched but convenient. The impact of the trade war to date has been limited. We’re not in a recession yet.
4. I don’t know of any ‘buddies in the US buying electric cars’ but when I see charging stations in Medellin (which is usually some years behind the US) I think something is going on.
5. I never said we wouldn’t be using fossil fuels in the future, just a lot less of them and oil and the impact it’s going to have in the Colombian economy isn’t going to be what was thought ten years ago.
6. I don’t ‘dream and hope’, I just understand that things move on. Things are moving quickly including public opinion, especially among the young. Why do you need to include ‘AOC’ and the ‘Green Deal’? Is the idea to suggest that climate change and the movement away from fossil fuels is some strange extremist view?
7. Why in your posts do you also suggest that ‘your common sense’ is some sort of decider in any arguments.
8. This Trumpian push for fossil fuels isn’t the start of a reversal’. It’s the last hurrah.
9. The US left the Paris accord but no one else followed, despite the usual promptings and threats from the Trump Administration. Why’s that? The rest of the world is blind and the only person with clear sight is Trump?

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SkyMan
8/12/2019 17:25 EST

When a post on this forum turns to "Political"...it seems that "Reality" just disappears from the page.

Again, many forums, not just PBH, have been destroyed by becoming way too political. This forum has existed because politics has never totally hijacked it.....in my opinion. So if you will.....let's keep the goal of the OP in sight....which happened to be "Is Colombia Switching to the USD" Buena Suerte !

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EpaEpaEpa
8/12/2019 18:35 EST

Fu*k the US politics posts. Keep it about Colombia.

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ParadiseLost
8/12/2019 19:36 EST

@epaepaepa and @skyman you’re both always quick to want to close discussions down on the basis that they are politics. Or is it the political leanings of the posts you want to shut down?

Whether Colombia might adopt the USD is both a political and economic subject. It’s also difficult to have any conversation about the future of the Colombian economy and not discuss fossil fuels both oil and coal. For the peso to have any strength the future value of those exports is not an insignificant point. @elex has his view on that direction, I have mine.

While I understand that no one wants the boards to descend into political brawls many subjects can’t be examined without politics.

I note no one ever seems to push back on the endless threads about what rate was obtained at the ATM today or how anyone who isn’t using a Schwab account is an idiot.

So as long as we stick to postings on the relative costs of money transfers or who has the youngest girlfriend you’re fine with that and it’ll be a ‘happy’ forum?

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Elexpatriado
8/12/2019 20:04 EST

Nothing to do with Trump or anything else.

It has to do with basic economics, math , infrastructure, common sense and understanding energy conversion processes.

Did you even read or understand the EIA table and graph?

If you believe
the world will miraculously suddenly quit using oil in the next 5 years, continue with your fantasy..no way I am going to convince you otherwise

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fecherklyn
8/12/2019 20:15 EST

PL is right; you cannot have sensible discussions about subjects like this one without examining the relative impacts of the economic/political strategies involved. In my opinion, what has upset epa and skyman here is the manner in which some forum members support their views - with vigour is ok, but rudely is not.

Is it today's world, or Trump's, that has "normalised" the need to demean someone who's views are contrary to their own? I feel this forum is beginning to suffer from this growing attitude and I speak as a first hand target.

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ParadiseLost
8/12/2019 20:37 EST

@fech bottom line Colombia’s medium term economic future is going to be driven by how the fossil fuel debate gets resolved. Even the USA pushing to become the #1 energy provider has huge ramifications on Colombia- if nothing else its the loss of an export market.

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Elexpatriado
8/12/2019 20:50 EST

You live in Colombia a corrupt developing country and you actually believe that all those 100.plus countries, most of them developing countries that signed the Paris accord are actually going to sacrifice economic growth to meet thier agreement? BTW the worlds carbon emissions have increased substantially since the " accord" was signed, when.it is suposed to have declined substantially
There isnt a snowballs chance in hell that the targets will be met by 2030.

Most of the signees just take the whole thing as a big joke. The only countries that take it partly seriously and imposing carbon taxes are a few virtue signalling countries like Canada, Scandanavian countries and a few EUC countries.The JS is the only country being honest and not ignoring the "gorilla in the room" right now.

As far as climate change..yes I know it is happening, I am a.mountaineer and see the glaciers decreasing. Do I think its human influenced .yes ..probably..although with only a couple 100 ppm difference in CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution ..I have very litle confidence in the models and interpretation of the IPCC and other groups and believe there is a lot of bias there.

Do I believe it is the "greatest threat to human existence" a" climate emergency" and we have "only 12 years to act"..

Nope -utter hysteria and propaganda....grossly exagerating the problem..and ignoring previous geological history of higher temperatures and CO2 concentrations and ignoring the benefits of warmer temperatures and higher CO2 concentrations.

And most important ..people are too selfish and greedy to make necessary changes to solve the problem.the way the eco extremists want.

You have to ask yourself ( or the average world citizen)

1.Are you willing to give up airflight travel 100%

2. Are you willing to give up meat totally and become a vegetarian (meat is 5 to 10 times more energy and land intensive than plant based foods)

3.Are you willing to travel a lot less by land means from your home base in order to reduce energy consumption.

4. Are you willing to.pay higher taxes to support rebates on electric vehicles and higher electric rates to subsidize renewable energy generation ( wind abd solar with natural gas back up when there is no wind or sun- that is how it works)and infrastructure, ( more powrelines, substations due to i creased energy usage) increased

5. If you are a young person, are you willing to. limit your self to one child...and for them to.live under the same rules as the points above.

6. Are you willing to spend a whole bunch of money on insulating your house and reducing heating in cold weather and limit air conditioning completely in hot weather? Or being forced to by increased energy taxes on consumption?

Young people around the world yearn for the American Dream and materialism.

The above points directly contradicts their dreams and aspirations.

Sorry..there will be no quick miracle on the horizon to solve this problem.We will just have to adapt to higher temperatures and sea levels until the problem is solved..probably in many decades using geo- engineering..

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LaPiranha
8/12/2019 21:20 EST

PL. I agree with most of that, but we must remember that if the US is to become No 1 oil provider, that must surely include shale production, which we all know is quite expensive to produce. (One of my invested companies in Putumayo is producing oil normally for as little as $25 a barrel). So if oil gets that abundant, the price will drop, forcing the US shale producers to turn the taps off again. Those who can produce oil more cheaply can continue, and generating profits too. In the last glut, where oil dropped to $30 for a short time, my invested company was still making profit, whereas many other producers couldn't afford to produce at a loss, and anything that cost over $40 a barrel to produce was considered junk.

Its a very delicate balance. They don't want to produce too much. Its actually in everyone's interest to produce less. But at the same time, enough to reduce oil imports and get revenue from what they do produce, so they can pay for their political and social programs.

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JustSomeGuy
8/12/2019 22:16 EST

I haven't seen Jooks on this forum for a while. His posts were interesting and fun to read. So different from the person who drove him off.

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ponymalta
8/13/2019 07:05 EST

ParadiseLost

On your point about the Paris accords- it is of course fashionable to take 'pro' environment positions, and in some circles environmentalism is almost a new religion. The Paris accords actually let India and China off the hook on many issues, so Trump simply took the position why agree to something that may hurt the US economy while letting competitors off the hook based of extrapolations of trends.

Looking at growth rates of the Indian and Chinese economies and improving living standards, the demands for oil,coal and a whole host of other commodities will increase substantially-asking over 2 billion people to voluntarily restrict improving their material living standards somehow I don't think will happen. Nor do I think the average American if they understand the economic dislocation of the Green New Deal would be particularly supportive.

I agree that discussing Colombia's economy that oil and coal exports, in addition to cocaine,gold and flowers are relevant

Of course there is the issue of hypocrisy as seen in recent media reports of a Google inspired conference in Sicily with all the fashionable environmentalists flying in on their private jets. This fashionable fanaticism itself can hurt the environment and make compromise solutions more difficult- I have dealt directly with the EPA on various issues, and often the very fanaticism can preclude common-sense solutions.


As far as Colombia there will be continued demand for oil and coal into the future as well as gold,cocaine,flowers and coffee- and looking at the licenses being granted to cannabis growers for export perhaps another growth industry.I would hazard a guess the peso's value will depend just as much on inept nonsense and corrupt economic policy rules as much as price of oil.

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ponymalta
8/13/2019 07:14 EST

ParadiseLost

I think with Expatriado's experience and his listing of key figures would worth addressing directly as his post seems largely spot on. If one uses the same sort of extrapolation techniques the environmentalists do ( or going back to the 1964 and the Club of Rome extrapolations of population trends and how things turned out) it seems if not likely at least somewhat probable that oil prices will trend upward over the long run. until alternative energy much common than today.

I agree there is more and more popular support in particular among the young on environmental issue ( especially the desire to impose the costs on others).

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ParadiseLost
8/13/2019 08:34 EST

Amazing. One post that suggests climate change may have an impact on fossil fuels and instantly the posts come out calling for ‘political posts’ to stop otherwise the board will break apart. Then follows a whole set of pro fossil fuel posts and there’s not a peep of objection.

@ponymalta oil prices are half what they were five years ago and that’s with two big producers effectively off the market. Developing countries have done a very good job, to enhance their own prosperity, at keeping commodity prices down over the past decade to the detriment of developing countries. Political influence has moderated OPEC. Potential supply exceeds demand. There are far more scenarios in the near and medium term that result in the result in oil moving to $35 rather than $70.

Oil and coal were seen as being the solution for Colombia but increasingly that seems unlikely.

On the Colombian economy a couple of weeks ago I posted that the Presidential visit to China could be China looking for more influence and new trading partners. That I was told was wrong. Colombia had gone to beg because of the poor state of the economy.

Today there are stories running that the Chinese are actively looking for long term suppliers of Ag products to replace those from the US. Coincidence on that trade visit timing?

What always continues to surprise me is that the US voted for ‘change’ but believed they’d only get the changes they wanted. American influence in the region is declining and Colombia’s economic prospects increasingly lie elsewhere.

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Elexpatriado
8/13/2019 08:35 EST

Its a lot more than 2 billion on the developingworld Pony..more like 6 billion..and rising.

On anirger note I doubt Colombian oik oroduction will ever compete with US shale. Reserves are too small, too remote and still politically risky.

The cañon- Limon pipeline gets bombed twice a month on a regular basis

The biggest near term risk to oil consumption prices is the slow down in the world economy..because of Trumps erratic trade policies. To be quite frank and honest..and other related issues arising now

The Argentinian.Peso got devalued big time because of potential regime change.

Look for similar issues with other developing country curencies shortly

Seems most economists the gurus on Wall Street agree with this

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JustSomeGuy
8/13/2019 09:05 EST

PL, do you really want the USA to be the predominant power in the region? I would like Colombia to be predominant in Colombia and the USA an interesting neighbor to the north.

Voting for change doesn’t work. The US voted for “hope and change” and got war. I think what would certainly work is a mass movement to limit consumption, screw government power. I have no A/C, got rid of that in the 90’s. I run the heat when someone else is in the house, when alone it gets down into the low 30’s (2C) in here, I’ve got a great down coat, I sleep outside most nights when the bugs are low anyway. I walk to the grocery stores. These things are easy. I do travel to Latin America, I would not want to give that up but I suppose I should, that would be hard. If everyone reduced their consumption where it was easy for them the world would be a better place to live. We wouldn’t need so many wars for a start.

About young people. A 20-something turned me in to the authorities for hanging my clothes to dry. They were hanging below the level of my deck railing but he saw them and complained. Now I hang them inside. 5% of residential electricity used in the USA is to dry clothes, that is a crime.

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ParadiseLost
8/13/2019 09:22 EST

@justsomeguy for most of my life I’ve seen (on balance) the US being a positive influence on the region through both Republican and Democratic administrations. There was a concept that helping the region to grow had benefits on both sides. Capitalism existed in those days as well, although it was less ruthless than the version we have today.

‘America First’ plays well at home but it leaves behind a past legacy of help that every American should be proud of.

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WhoaNellie
8/13/2019 10:11 EST

"On anirger note I doubt Colombian oik oroduction"

When posters post in another language (other than Spanish or English) could you please provide a translation? Thank you...

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ponymalta
8/13/2019 10:38 EST

Elexpatriado

Over 2 billion people reference was to China and India with their rapid economic growth rates- I cant hazard a guess what growth rates we will see in other third world countries on a consistent basis.

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ponymalta
8/13/2019 10:59 EST

ParadiseLost

Commodity prices are notoriously hard to predict in the short or even intermediate term- I think the issue was do the preponderance of factors indicate ( a) fossil fuels will continue over the next few decades to be necessary for the world economy (b) are the drastic measure politically palatable to the majority, and feasible to implement. I sincerely doubt the average American can take AOC seriously even less so when looking at the impact of her proposals.

It isn't a question of being pro or anti fossil fuels - just what does the evidence and trends indicate. I couldn't care less whether most energy comes from solar or fossil fuels.

Using the simplistic methods of environmentalists in extrapolations, simply the expanding world population and advances economically in India and China, would indicate a growing demand for economies even if the world shifts steadily to alternative energy sources.

Colombia is its own worst enemy in diversifying away from oil,gold,cocaine, flowers and coffee- corrupt and often inane economic policies hold it back far more than simply the price of oil ( and coal) No one to blame but itself.


And contrary to many assumptions, it isn't a cheap place to do business. The high employer tax burden and low efficiency and corruption, all combine to make it more expensive to do business than on first glance.

Anyway illegal gold trading and cocaine, and apparently now legal cannabis exports will probably keep supporting the economy at its current level.

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ParadiseLost
8/13/2019 11:11 EST

@ponymalta but cocaine production doesn’t find its way into the public purse nor published trade figures. Fossil fuel revenues do.

Even if your argument is that illegal activities will keep the economy going (and that’s at best a contentious argument) it isn’t going to help the fiscal issues the country faces.

Continued deterioration in the trade balance and decreases in tax revenues will only lead to a weaker peso and the need for the government to further raise taxes (and IVA is the quickest route to doing that).

Incidentally I don’t believe that the Colombians will diversify away from the industries you suggest. They’ve no viable alternatives at this point. They have to make the best of them.

Then of course we now have Panama disease threatening the banana industry in Colombia added to challenge of coffee rust for coffee.

Colombia isn’t getting many breaks.

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SkyMan
8/13/2019 11:32 EST

Paradise.....The history of fallen-sites of this type indicate that when the discourse turns political=the death-spiral of the site follows closely thereafter.

Frankly I do not care what your political leanings are nor any other posters, period. But the site is about
COLOMBIA, not the politics of another country. Pure and Simply.

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ParadiseLost
8/13/2019 12:24 EST

@skyman but noticeably you don’t comment when right wing political comments are made. They somehow don’t seem to be as threatening for you. If the idea is that this forum is meant to be a safe place for Right leaning expats then perhaps it’s better for you to state that?

Incidentally the death spiral for sites like this is usually other more accessible social media - for example Facebook.

There’s actually an argument that the only way for sites like this to survive is to be more discursive and allow more open debate.

The audience for ‘today’s ATM charge was’ or ‘why just out of High school Colombian women are attracted to geriatric gringos’ is limited.

I don’t know the active membership of this forum but it’s not large and the number of active posters is even smaller. It’s certainly not ‘thriving’.

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JustSomeGuy
8/13/2019 12:29 EST

Jooks' posts were about Colombia Skyman. But you harassed him until he stopped posting. In fact I think you told him to stop posting. I don't recall, maybe not explicitly.

I'm not seeing a lot of useful Colombia information is your current posts either. Will your next one be more useful?

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SkyMan
8/13/2019 12:50 EST

Paradise & Just.....I suggest that you post what you want & I will certainly post what I think.....that's fair enough.

I have absolutely no problem with any OP morphing into something else....that is what happens on sites such as this, correct ? But on the political-side...that's a horse of a different color & we all know it.

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ponymalta
8/13/2019 14:26 EST

Paradise Lost

Whether illegal sales enter the official statistics, money still spent in Colombia, and I would argue the statistics show there isn’t any contention about the importance of illegal activity to the overall economy.
Info on Colombian exports:

http://www.worldstopexports.com/colombias-top-10-exports/

You will note of the total exports of 41.8 billion, oil accounted for 24.2 billion and Gems and Minerals 1.6 billion.

The latest figures I have heard is $60 billion worth of cocaine the US annually. All estimates I have seen (and my own experience in the field) is about 85% of gold production in Colombia illegal (usually with the Army.FARC and criminals all taking a cut, and a small amount to politicians - so quite possible total production around 10 billion. Let us assume of the cocaine exports only $15 billion so Colombia’s share (which I would think very conservative) so the two equal oil revenue- and show no sign of diminishing. Plus Colombia is grating more and more cannabis licenses so that is a potential growth industry.

I do not know the oil industry well but there does appear at least some questions as to its long term future for Colombia:

“The president Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), Orlando Velandia, said that he is positive about next year because the country’s self-sufficiency measure will not fall like it has during the past four years. According to him, the goal is to extend Colombia’s oil self-sufficiency for one or two more years, taking into account that reserves will only be enough for another four-and-a-half to five years. "What we are looking at is that, thanks to the improvement in oil prices, part of these contingent reserves will go to proven reserves and with these, we can extend Colombia’s selfsufficiency a bit more."

I agree with you that the price of oil will have an effect though I am unsure one can definitively say looking at longer term world economic trends there is a reason to expect in the upcoming decades demand to reduce to a point where oil is on a long term down trend. I agree Colombia’s overall trade policies can be a negative for the peso.If ten to fifteen percent of all public contracts are over-inflated for kickbacks ( which seems to be the case in Medellin area) and the government makes it so expensive to be ‘legal’ it wil always have problem with tax revenue. The army,FARC, criminals and politcians all benefit from the illegal production, as does the country economically, so I don’t see the cocaine or gold industry declining.
I have no thoughts on the peso/dollar trends as that also involves may factors concerning the dollar by itself. If history is any guide like most Latin countries Colombia will have instability, swings to left or right, and lack of financial discipline- but who knows, Colombia could become a major world leader in the cannabis market and keep growing its cocaine business so maybe the peso will strengthen in the long run.

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ParadiseLost
8/13/2019 16:01 EST

@ponymalta that $15 billion number for cocaine isn’t an export number. It’s only an export number if that amount of money flows back into Colombia. I doubt whether anything like that amount comes back. It’s in offshore bank accounts and property in places like the US. The irony is that the money probably lifts the US economy through Real Estate transactions and purchases of luxury condos and rental units.

Some of the money obviously does come back here, if nothing else the ‘industry workers’ need to be paid, but I’d doubt that it’s a huge lift on the Colombian economy. I know they’ll be responses that the Medellin real estate market is swimming in narco money but $15 billion is a lot for an economy to digest. For example let’s take an Poblado apartment at around COP 650 million. You’d need narco money buying 75,000 of those each and every year to consume your $15 billion. The Colombian economy would struggle to swallow that amount of illegal money.

On Cannabis the licenses you’ll be quoting are for medicinal grade cannabis not the recreational. There’s a market there (and there’s going to be a lot of competition) and currently I’ve seen figures of around $7 billion a year globally, although that will be based on end product. There are lots of projections on growth and the future value (anything from$40 to $150 billion) but it’s going to be an enormously competitive market. Could it be a significant contributor to Colombia’s economy? Perhaps, but not straying under the license into non medicinal strains will be a challenge both for the producers and the authorities.

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JustSomeGuy
8/13/2019 18:02 EST

PL
You have a more positive view of recent American meddling in Latin America than I do.
We may be improving though, the USA is far less ruthless now than it was in the past. I don’t think you know the history.
Allow me to recommend “War Is a Racket”, Smedley Butler, Marine Corps General, twice won the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Probably worth reading about the Contras and Salvador Allende.

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JustSomeGuy
8/13/2019 18:13 EST

Skyman, you have already driven away one pleasant and interesting poster. Why don't you stop harassing the other posters? That sort of behavior will ruin the site.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 03:46 EST

ParadiseLost

The figure was $60 billion, I just made a rough guess $15 billion comes back to Colombia. how to measure the exact or even probable percentage might be difficult. As far a pumped into the Colombian economy I would guess a lot more than one might realize. Just look around Medellin the property market, and also high-end shops uneconomic but after all said and done can be cheaper than a money launderer, plus of course the percentage of illicit proceeds going back to the Army, politicians, FARC and of course the criminals themselves. Many quite expensive FINCAS in Rio Negro, Giradota and elsewhere, may businesses, and I don;t see why the economy couldnt absorb that level.If for example a typical municipal contract carries a 10 to 15% price tag I would assume not too far off.

My main point was that with oil revenue at $24 billion, cocaine and mining together can easily match that- and if there is a problem with longevity of oilfields in Colombia, and with cocaine production increasing, the price of oil in the long run may matter less to Colombia.

You do raise an interesting point about what percentage stays in Colombia, my figure I think conservative. For example I have know of the cost of military protection for a legal enterprise having had in business to sign convenios with the Army- I can't imagine it would cost less for illegal operations.

With FACTA and similar rules and implementation over last 10+ years, I would assume compared to 30 years ago much less use of offshore accounts but that is just a guess.

I agree with your comments that so far legal cannabis production not that significant but to point out it could easily become so- cost factors alone give Colombia an advantage so as legalization continues to spread this could be a future growth sector.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 06:40 EST

@ponymalta I think there’s a concept among a lot of foreigners that any expensive purchases (e.g. expensive fincas) are the sign of drug money.

There’s actually a lot of money in Colombian families in the top 1%. However that money isn’t drug money. Many professionals got wealthy by buying property decades ago when it was very cheap. Another big driver of wealth was the local stock markets in the 1990s where prices rose twenty fold. Now maybe drug money pumped those markets but a lot of professionals made family fortunes at that time.

As for the concept of expensive fincas in the areas you talk about very few of those ever come to the market. There are gated finca communities being built in those areas but they are small plots and rarely, even with building costs, get anywhere close to $750k.

On the high end shops that are uneconomic perhaps some are laundering, but in reality they lose little money. Rents and staffing costs aren’t a good way to burn drug proceeds in Colombia. Many are I think are vanity projects by rich spouses who want the connections that being the distributor of luxury products bring.

As for cocaine production increasing without pushback from overseas again I think that’s unlikely. I’ve seen some argue that it won’t diminish but you’re saying that there will be no consequences for Colombia if it lets cocaine production increase to offset falling oil revenues?

Yes there is FACTA but it’s hardly been a barrier to bringing dubious foreign money into the US. Bringing money into Colombia isn’t that easy either. My experience of the workings of Colombian banks is that they employ a lot of rule based technology to prevent dubious money. After all if they become known as drug money launderers they’d be out of business almost instantly overseas.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 09:38 EST

ParadiseLost

I can only go by what little actual data available, and anecdotal experience. The data as I indicated shows billions of dollars coming into Colombia from the drug trade, and for the gold trade alone the figure of $10 billion a year is pretty much a consensus figure in the industry. Much of this can be simply estimated by shipments to overseas smelters or refiners.

As far as Fincas costing over $1 million, easy enough- I know several in Giradota costing more than that Around area we live several Fincas well known to be constructed by drug or other illicit money. Have a spouse of relative in construction business, he can usually tell fairly quickly when illicit money lurking somewhere in the background

I only point out shops as many high end shops uneconomic on the surface, and as long as net cost is less than what money laundered charges it is a more legal manner to launder money though I agree often also a luxury toy for some rich guy's wife.. There is also the issue of other exports to fronts in other countries, very hard for Colombian banks to differentiate sources and uses of such funds.

The professionals you speak of often will be providing services directly or indirectly linked to illicit trade, and government officials in particular take a standard cut as do army officers.

Colombian cocaine production and area under cultivation has been growing in recent years, so the argument that somehow foreign pressure will restrain this doesn't seem to be supported by A few months ago saw an article where state department employees were bemoaning the fact America still pumping money into Colombian drug war efforts but Colombian production increasing- and I have seen opinion pieces that Santos deliberately held back on many anti-drug efforts so as to not hurt FARC during the peace negotiations All they have to do is throw a few bones to the Americans here and there and the trade keeps increasing.

There has been some impact of FACTA and other regulations the past years, and a lot easier and faster to gather bank data. Most offshore centers a bit more picky these days than they used to be.

I have an idea from experience of typical army protection charges especially the officers' take- multiply that by number of illegal Gold operations and cocaine production, add police protection money, and any profit splits with FARC, and the number becomes quite large.

However I cant quantify exactly but conservatively I estimate the cocaine and illegal gold trade together as important as oil revenue to Colombia, and I would not hesitate to say well over half of the wealthy class directly or directly is benefiting from this sort of trade- add in kickbacks from corruption and the figure is quite substantial.

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 09:49 EST

@ponymalta

Well over half the wealthy is directly or indirectly benefiting from illegal businesses?

Or are you trying to say

American wealthy; has to be hard work

Colombian wealthy; has to be illegal.

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Elexpatriado
8/14/2019 11:08 EST

I doubt Colombian oil production.


There

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Elexpatriado
8/14/2019 11:14 EST

Cocaine money makes its way into thebpublic coffers.

Narcos, dealers and their employees pay IVA, Predial, Road tolls and all the other myriad of hidden and not so hidden consumer taxes, just like anyone else..

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 12:03 EST

@elex so the Narcos keep the country afloat through road tolls, paying to use the new ‘golden paved’ tunnel to the airport?

I’m suggesting that the $15 billion of Narco spend might not be realistic and you’re suggesting that we can get there by thinking about $5 toll fees?

Incidentally that toll isn’t really a tax. The government didn’t get the tunnel or road for free and it doesn’t operate for free. The actual ‘tax’ portion of it, at least for the first ten to twenty years, isn’t likely to be significant.

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Elexpatriado
8/14/2019 17:17 EST

I have several examples of user taxes and you focused on only one, for a specific location and case.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 17:22 EST

ParadiseLost

Not sure I understand your post. I just gave my estimate and my reasons about the extent of wealth created in Colombia through illegal and corrupt means.

America has much different circumstances and certainly much less corruption or percentage of the economy from the sources being discussed. Besides any generalized surveys from people actually in business or various world agencies, for the industries I have experience in never encountered such corruption and illegality.Even Mexico in my experience a paragon of integrity compared to Colombia.

Corruption just a way of life in Colombia, It is not America or Switzerland or Germany, and certainly Colombians we all consider friendly and pleasant and I do like the country very much.

.

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ponymalta
8/14/2019 17:46 EST

ParadiseLost

I have to admit your last post gives me the impression you may not have a lot of experience doing business in Colombia.

Narcos, Army Officers, politicians. FARC, spend a lot more than incidentals in the country from drug and gold revenues.

The $15 billion figure was I thought conservative 25% of the value of the exports to the US of cocaine, and the $10 billion form illegal gold trade I am very confident from rather meticulous knowledge of the Gold sector ( I can give you lots of actual examples).

Beyond gold and some illegal coal production there are also other minerals such as Coltan that I do not have experience in but no reason to doubt similar situations underway.
I mean really, Narcos bringing in German expertise to build submarines in the forest, then transporting 60 miles in full sight to the port is a lot more money spent locally than a few tolls.

I admit I cant quantify gross revenue from the cocaine trade, but going by anecdotal experience, and discussions with politicians and some army officers I do believe the $15 billion figure a bit low. And if the going rate for kickbacks to politicians in the Medellin are 10 to 15%, surely the kickback from cocaine sales not lower..( I know a fellow selling a service to many of the surrounding towns of Medellin- he builds into his cost model automatically 10% payment to government officials).

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ParadiseLost
8/14/2019 18:59 EST

@ponymalta I’ve worked in Colombia over the years for three companies, probably a wider experience than you.

Incidentally I’ve a brother in law who is very senior in the Army and he is clean as clean could be, and a huge patriot. If you watch Colombian TV you’ll have seen him twice in the past two weeks as a Senior Army representative at major events.

I’ll pass onto him your post and anecdotal evidence that he and his serving officers and men are on the take from the Narcos and Illegal Gold mining. I’m sure he’ll take it in good spirit.

I presume your own involvement in the mining sector is of course pristine?

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nonames
8/14/2019 23:31 EST

So now Pa Lost is threatening someone who disagrees with him? That figures.
Par for the course eh?

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 05:13 EST

@nonames threatening?

Too many on here disparage Colombians generally. There are lots of posts about how people have stories that they know that (take your choice), all politicians, all police, all army, all business people, all doctors, all wealthy Colombians, all Colombianas take bribes/engage in illegal activities/cheat/have false education paper/sleep with people for favors. That the economy here is built on drugs, illegal activities, graft and the like. No one can have a bigger or better house/car/bank account than a Gringo without having put their finger on the scale of life.

It’s a general self satisfaction among some that as Gringos they are in some way superior, that there’s no way that any one born here can be successful just from hard work, application or brains.

It’s actually much tougher for people to make it here. For some, like people in my brother in laws generation they grew up in the days of the cartel wars. Just going to school was a risky exercise. My father in law, who came from no money won a scholarship to go to the Sorbonne to study medicine and came to practice as a pediatrician. Perhaps he was at the birth or looked after your spouse, girl friend, or significant other when they were a child. If they come from Medellin it’s not unlikely.

Then there are the positive stories about Colombians. For many posters they seem limited to those who didn’t steal the valuable that they left on the bus, or helped them (without charge) to fix their cell phone. But that’s it.

Back to threaten. I’m sure many on these boards never talk to their Colombian partner(s) and families about what gets posted here. I do, one because they’re interested in how foreigners see them, secondly as I’m a Gringo they’ve an interest in that community as well.

Some of us do have family who serve in the army (I’m sure many of you know kids who’ve been conscripted). Some of do have family who’ve studied hard and done well. Do you know how many here get wealthy? They earn money but don’t then spend it every week at Walmart on cheap trinkets. Many Colombians don’t spend and consume like Americans. They invest.

I’m not naive and believe there’s no graft here. But then there’s plenty of graft in the US as well just it’s never described as such. Sure there are narcos here, but there are plenty who make money from drugs in the US as well. But then of course the realtor in the US helping launder narco proceeds into a condo is an entrepreneur, not someone helping to promote the drugs trade.

We are guests here. It’s not our country. Many of us come from a country that increasingly shows dislike for Hispanic immigrants. When did someone here last tell you ‘to go home’?

So the next time you’re tempted to post some generic rubbish on this board think about it. You feel free to suggest that my brother in law is a crook but if I let him read that it’s a threat?

Same with my brother in laws girlfriend. She’s a doctor at one of the big hospitals here. How do you think she would feel about suggestions that here degree (obtained in Spain incidentally) isn’t real or that she’s only got on because - well we all know how women get on in Colombia don’t we? I’m sure the next time you’re in the waiting room waiting for her to figure out what that scan says about that lump in your body you’ll be polite and grateful to her.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 08:07 EST

ParadiseLost,
Interesting post !
“Too many on here disparage Colombians generally…There are lots of posts about how people have stories that they know that (take your choice), all politicians, all police, all army, all business people, all doctors, all wealthy Colombians, all Colombianas take bribes/engage in illegal activities/cheat/have false education paper/sleep with people for favors. That the economy here is built on drugs, illegal activities, graft and the like”.
So what are people to do , deny the preponderance of evidence and experience ? In any case I do not find such comments disparaging- every culture is simply different. Colombians usually tell me after moving to the states cold Americans are, and how Americans live to work as opposed to work to live ( an observation Europeans often make as well), and or how sad they see the general demeanor and health of many American children- yet appreciate the good things about America. Same in these discussions, recognizing some issues doesn’t mean one doesn’t also recognize the good things.
Sure there are exceptions to the general rule.
“… that there’s no way that any one born here can be successful just from hard work, application or brains. It’s actually much tougher for people to make it here”
No one denies that there are not hardworking intelligent Colombians, and I agree harder to make it here- just the culture and history itself lends itself to the type of issues you find ‘disparaging’.
. “I’m sure many on these boards never talk to their Colombian partner(s) and families about what gets posted here. I do, one because they’re interested in how foreigners see them, secondly as I’m a Gringo they’ve an interest in that community as well”
I can’t say about others, but yes some of issues discussed I have discussed- or rather listened because as a guest in the country I do try to be polite- and from such discussions learnt a lot. Ad maybe I have just got around more because I have had business experience and a bit of teaching experience in Colombia, the corruption at universities is certainly present. I know a fellow in Medellin who sells certifications of English language knowledge (accepted by all but 1 university in Medellin) and he kicks back 10% to the relevant university administrators.Medical industry ? Sure lots of qualified medical personnel. I have family members who had worked in the industry for large multinationals and smaller organizations- their stories about how salary. increases and promotions are often achieved are often astounding- and some have worked in the states and uniformly have stated how much better.My experience managing Colombian personnel corresponds in general to these observations.

I guess best example is a 4th grade school teacher in a Colombian school showing videos and giving assignments to the Colombian children, to get across that Colombians need to become more honest and have integrity- I guess you might say this was ‘disparaging’ the country if a Gringo said the same. Government officials? I have dealt with them from the local city level up to Senators, never had one who didn’t want a kickback.

On the economy I gave the numbers whether estimates are from actual experience, and my point had been simply in relation to the Colombian economy overall. I assume this Forum is to share experiences and learn from each other. My issue about the corruption is not from a moral standpoint but how it holds back the economy from benefiting the poor more.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 08:27 EST

ParadiseLost

I have no idea which of us has more experience working in Colombia, mine doesn't date past 2004.

Well yes, would be quite interesting a serving officer and a patriot is going to have an unbiased and open view, but yes in the illegal mining sector accounting by all estimates for 85% of Colombian gold production and everyone gets a cut. You can ask him though why to get protection one has to sign a convenio and pay Army for protection- is that for example standard or an aberration ?

Working with employees in Colombia there was much behavior in the USA I would fire someone on the spot for, in Colombia just accepted it as the culture.

I have a relative in the army as well comes across also as super clean ( how I would know in reality I wouldn't know except perhaps his spending habits).and super patriotic, and my father in law retired military- he complains about these sort of things worse than me. .

Hah very pristine and running a public company or consulting for them certainly- especially with SEC disclosure requirements for mining companies- very necessary! ( As far as sub contractors can't vouch for them). One of our biggest problems was training Colombians to follow proper health,safety and environmental best practices diligently.I have some experience in a few other businesses. in Colombia..

Anyway maybe I am jaded and you are correct and everyone else is wrong that in general Colombians have high standards of integrity and honesty and no more corrupt than Americans or Germans.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 08:35 EST

@ponymalta so just another excuse to list other examples of corruption you’ve encountered?

All I can say if you get a cancer scare you better hope my brother in law’s girlfriend medical degree is real. After all, if you’re like most other Gringo’s you’ll be paying the huge sum of $30 a month for cancer treatment. She’s had offers to work in the US and Europe where she wouldn’t be driving around in her crappy little car but she stays here to treat people.

And the next time you get through a day without being at risk of being bombed or taken hostage (as would have been the risk in the past) perhaps you should show some appreciation to the Army and what they do rather than suggesting their role is lining their own pockets.

For any newbies here it’s a custom here to give the thumbs up as you pass soldiers, in particular, the conscripts, to thank them for the work they do. If they spot you doing it they’ll return the sign.

Awaits @ponymalta telling a story that in in his experience citizens giving the thumbs up to army personnel is to tell them that the protection money has been deposited in the bank.

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 09:09 EST

I like this doctor you mentioned. Doing something for people is more satisfying than a nice car. A lot of people don’t seem to get that.

I hope the degree is real also, I go to Colombia for routine medical care and put off other things until I get there. So far all treatment has been first class, as near as I can tell.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 09:35 EST

@ponymalta I’ll give you an example of corruption I ran into working in Colombia.

Working in US I was passed, to project manage for my company, a large failing effort. This was a large project and clearly was off course. If nothing else it was quickly running out of money.

When I did my diligence I found that my predecessor had billed the Colombia client for a whole bunch of work that had never been done. We’re talking a lot of money here. It was clear that this mismatch between the billing and what had been achieved was the root cause in the project distress.

I took this to my boss, who didn’t disagree that they were false charges but his theory was the sooner we burnt the budget the quicker we could go back to the client and ask for more money..

It took me a while, and burnt my career, going above him until finally (and outside the US) I finally got the agreement to not invoice the Colombian client for a lot of further work as an offset. However the deal was they didn’t ever find out. It was explained to the client as being a ‘goodwill’ gesture. So, not all Colombian fraud is Colombian generated.

Incidentally the client did fire my PM counterpart on the day that they found out that he’d been approaching female team members for help with ‘his needs’ as his wife was pregnant. He might have stood a better chance if he’d asked rather less of them...

In bribes and illegal mining I won’t say that it’s positive. But then it is an illegal activity, and as such is more likely to attract extortion.

I’ve come across more than a few expats ‘in the mining business’ and they were often colorful people with interesting pasts. It wasn’t hard to figure that much of their work wasn’t entirely legal.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 11:01 EST

Actually a fascinating discussion. The problem is underlying agendas in some cases. One person has massive amounts of information he displays showing the continued oil based industrialization of the world will continue to contribute to increasing to atmospheric pollution for decades. And any attempt to move to cleaner energy is just a drop in the ocean and a silly attempt by the foolish. But, wait for it...

According to his careful (I'm sure) analysis all the climate models (and I guess the factual climate data) the 99% + of climatologists are wrong? Seriously? And PM pulls out his usual assertions based on scanty data (all that is somehow available) and "anecdotal evidence" which somehow proves his point. I don't know if you guys watch Fox News too much, just want to win an argument, or are just a couple of trolls. Bigjailerman was skulking around the Mexico site for a while last year and claimed he lived in Texas and was closing a real estate deal in Mexico. I wonder...

Paradise Lost your heart is in the right place. Check the latest WP article on all the U.S. states suffering from increased temperatures. Lots of facts and even anecdotal evidence from those, like farmers, suffering economically. Now, I hope you fanboys enjoy the recession your President is leading the world into, with his trade war with China, huge deficit and superb advice from his 'economic team' of frauds, fake economists and the producer of. a Lego movie. What could go wrong?

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 11:12 EST

I really hope this is fake news. but apparently there is a leaked executive order enabling political appointees to censure political speech on the internet. You guys that want to avoid political speech on this site may get your wish - and I can understand the preference - I don't think it would be necessary in less perilous times. But right now that would just be ignoring the elephant in the room.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 11:17 EST

@pfl

That’s the follow up from the meeting Trump had with conservative bloggers which he had a couple of weeks ago. What it won’t ban of course is tweets like that as retweeted by the President today

‘During his morning Twitter session Thursday, Trump quote-tweeted an anti-immigrant post by “MAGA Michelle.” The user’s bio includes the hashtag #WWG1WGA — short for “where we go one, we go all” — a phrase that followers of the deep-state conspiracy frequently attach to their social media posts.
“My children & grandchildren are dreamers & should COME FIRST! Trump we got ur back, build that wall 100 ft tall!" MAGA Michelle wrote over a video of a black Trump supporter. “Hey Democrats that plantation is getting smaller by the day!”’

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 11:48 EST

Sad. Can't make this sh..up. Thanks for the info!

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fecherklyn
8/15/2019 11:55 EST

“Who is the most corrupt – the US, or Colombia?”

I do not know, but I do know it is probably more difficult to identify in the US because they “fly under the radar” (Yes, that phrase again) more professionally.

Many years ago I was representing a Middle East Joint Venture in a due diligence meeting regarding the potential “buy in” of a household name US corporation.

I messed up, it was my first experience of this type of meeting and I wondered how the US corporation would handle their share of the extra contable payments made to acquire the initial licences.. So, I ask the US corporation that question.

Utter silence for a moment, and then half of the US team stood up and announced they would not be required for the rest of that session.

Did you guess correctly; that half of the US team were all lawyers. The need not to know.

Colombia has quite a path to take to reach that level of US “professionalism”.

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 13:05 EST

Not all..but one could argue the majority..or at leást a large percentage..greater than 20 % of the population are corrupt to some degree.

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 13:26 EST

So Fleetwood

I suppose you are living in a yurt. and will never get on a plane or a gasoline powered vehiclr again in your life?

If your not part of the solution..you are part of the problem..

The atmosphere doesnt give a rats ass where your " heart" is..

Thats what gets me shaking my head the most about the eco extremists..the sheer hypocracy..

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 13:38 EST

I don’t get it. If AGW is an existential threat, and I believe it is, then we need to reduce pollution right now. So a recession in the USA is the best thing that can happen to the world. Beyond that we should stop converting low carbon people into high carbon people, no more immigration into high carbon countries, like the USA and Europe. New arrivals get here and within a couple years they are polluting at the same rate as the locals. The poor and weak are going to suffer terribly from AGW if we continue, that is very bad.

We should look at ways to export people to low carbon cultures, maybe it can be done.

Did I get this wrong? What am I missing?

Make those fat Americans mow their own grass, and make them use push mowers, they worked fine when I was a kid; you don’t need a gas engine to make your grass shorter.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 14:46 EST

‘We should look at ways to export people to low carbon cultures, maybe it can be done.’

Like most people on this forum? 2017 figures have Colombia at about 10% of the US for fossil CO2 emissions.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 14:47 EST

Missed adding that number is a per Capita number.

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 15:28 EST

Just some Guy

Wouldnt growing a partcularly strong ebola virus in a laboratory and releasing it on the general population world wide be much more effective in reducing global.carbon emissions?

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 16:38 EST

I did not realize it was that bad.
So whats the plan to stop immigration into high carbon countries?

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 16:40 EST

ElEx,
Perhaps we could find a more ethical solution.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 16:52 EST

ParadiseLost

You seem somehow offended in a discussion of the reality in Colombia. If I mention international business surveys you dismiss. Anecdotal experiences, you dismiss, opinions of most Colombians you dismiss.

I have readily stated that yes there are intelligent hard working Colombians- and the level of corruption doesn't necessarily negate the existence qualified Colombian personnel.

No , I have insurance outside the country but yes I certainly appreciate and grateful for the benefits of living in Colombia, and very much like the country. It is actually more 'patriotic' to recognize reality that put one's head in the sand.

By all means if your arguments is that everyone else who has done business in Colombia, or the opinions of most Colombians wrong,

My father in law ex-military, very patriotic ( to a fault) yet certainly doesn't shy away from criticisms of the widespread corruption in Colombia..

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 17:05 EST

ParadiseLost,

Hah have to agree some rather colorful Expats can be found in Colombia.

Look no one is denying that corruption doesn't exist or there arent shady practices that can occur anywhere- just based on my own experience, that of others I have spoken to international business surveys,generally a fair consensus the American/European views on corruption and integrity in practice are much different Colombia.

Heck your comments reminds me a relative who routinely bemoans the inability of Colombians to follow traffic laws- yet does the same.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 17:26 EST

PFleetwood

I think the issue is inserting US politics into every thread is the issue and whether things degenerate from there, but I think having a thread just on US politics hopefully might solve the issue.

I let myself respond to anti Trump or anti Clinton people too much so I will try to follow my own advice hah,

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 17:38 EST

@ponymalta

Ok, you go back to your ‘reality’ that ‘everyone agrees on’ and where everything here is a fetid mess that only Gringos stand above.

Incidentally there was a small robbery (just some tools taken from a shed) from a house nearby last night where not only did the police come but the army as well. The army swept some fields, found where the fence had been cut and also where some of the stolen property had been left. They didn’t ask for any cash, bank transfers or negotiable securities.

It was petty crime, but measure that response to what would have been the response in say the US or the UK.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 18:04 EST

Now who is the idi... sorry, misinformed individual calling me a crazy, yurt dwelling ... etc. When all I said is global warming is here and needs to be dealt with. Some of you people.... You really just want to start a fight and if the person you want to fight with hasn't said anything worth fighting about you attribute something to them they haven't said. Must be awfully boring in Colombia for some of you. Oh wait, Elexpatriado is living in Miami, correct? That's really the issue. We could agree on a lot of things but some of you guys just get your jollies fighting over, literally, nothing.
And by the way, sadly, US politics is world politics these days. And that will become all too obvious if and when the global Trump recession that appears to be on the way hits us. Nowhere to hide, folks, much like global warming.

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 19:26 EST

@pfleetwood the mix of expats here in Colombia has always been a little different to other places. It’s always been a place that’s attracted the adventurers, the rogues and sometimes those who just needed to disappear. Interesting people and often fun to be with.

The expat community has always been predominately older male and very right wing.

That didn’t use to matter so much. You could shoot the proverbial with them. You might not have agreed with them, they not with you; it could get lively, but rarely personal.

But the right has changed. They feel empowered. They don’t have to listen to discussions about science or other opinions. Anything that they don’t like is fake news. Anyone who doesn’t agree is deranged.

So, trying to give an view on a Colombian expat forum if you’re not full bore Right is tough. You’re going to get insulted, you’re going to be taught lessons (mostly incorrect by the way) and you’ll never ever get the last word.

No matter how well you argue your points on climate change they’re not going to listen or even think about it. They KNOW it’s fake news because THEIR President told them so, and anyone who believes otherwise is just a fool.

Perhaps it’s better to let them swim in their own sea, to have an echo chamber of their own thoughts. The last polar bear can fall of the last iceberg into the sea and they won’t blink. But try to take away their automatic weapons and they’ll explain to you just how much ammunition they have and how you have none.

So save yourself some grief. Science and fact matters no more. Civility and everything that people fought for in Social change in the 50s, 60s and 70s will soon be relegated to history. Let them have their MAGA. They deserve it.

Of course the day that Super Storm hits the east coast, the one that makes Katrina look like a brief shower, then they’ll have no where to hide. Then people will demand change and hunt down those who lied. And it’ll be the last Republican President in our lifetimes.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 19:45 EST

I do want to check out Colombia soon. Have $$$ set aside for trip. You guys mostly seem pretty damn happy there. I hope the group you are referencing isn't totally homogeneous. Some folks may change over time, incrementally..
Anyway, best wishes. Currently watching 'The Milagro Beanfield War' about Northern small village New Mexicans and their battle with developers.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 20:10 EST

Seems we have including myself got way off topic of this thread, may I suggest the US politics thread ?

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 20:11 EST

I never said crazy..and I asked if you lived in a yurt or did not fly or drive an ICE powered vehicle..

Everybody can go virtue signalling about climate change, but very few people actually decrease their footprint significantly ..other than a few token measures

And the worst hipocrites are the extreme eco nuts that scream the loudest

Not saying you are one of these types..

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 20:17 EST

And where do you get the idea I lived in Miami?

I lived briefly in Orlando.and Gainesville Fla.about 30 years ago, but have hardly set foot in the States yet.I am actually Canadian and been living in Colombia for over 7 years.

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 20:18 EST

PFleetwood, I thought you lived in Colombia ?

Great film by the way, saw it years ago.!

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 20:27 EST

Nope, Sierra County New Mexico! I would like to check out Colombia. There is a pretty deep political schism here and it is starting to wear me down. (I realize that I am referring to US politics.) But I must tell you I need s break myself. I just need some help deciding the places to check out first. Colombia is a big country! I may havr to start my own thread.

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Elexpatriado
8/15/2019 20:30 EST

ParadiseLost

Your tirade on Climate Change is what is closed minded and not open to other view points , knowledge and experience.Which is only typical.

Obviously you didnt even read my post on the subject.

BTW I knew global warming was an issje 30.or 40.years ago, befpre it became fashionable.

Just shake my head jow it has become hysteria in.many circles, yet these same people are unwilling to.make major lifestyle cjanges.

Probably just assumed I am another right wing uneducated hick from. Chicken Lios Alabama espousing the view of what Fox News ( which I never look at, and if I do just for a laugh, like I do when I read The Guardian or CBC)

Or it is because " My President" told me ( which is hilarious because I am Canadian)..

Maybe consider being more open to other ideas yourself , and try to generalize less..

Just saying..

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 20:43 EST

Then your narrative seems to change depending on the thread you are on. Forgive me if I am mistaken, but I don't believe so and, more importantly, don't really give a sh...

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ponymalta
8/15/2019 21:04 EST

ParadiseLost

So in reference to your 'reality' comment. I base my opinion on (a) numerous personal and business experiences in Colombia but also other countries (b) that of other Expat businessmen I know (c) media reports (d) international surveys of businesses and also by international organizations (e) discussions with Colombians I have known

There seems a broad consensus, though no one would say there are not exceptions. But the idea that there is equal culture and level practice of bribery in various forms and corruption between Colombia and the US I have never heard of anyone with experience giving that point of view or that international surveys got it all wrong because of some prejudice against Colombia.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 21:22 EST

I guess it is important to define bribery and corruption. I wonder if certain big business practises by large U.S. corporations if considered corruption would make the US a lot more competitive in the corruption derby. Not having a clue about Colombia specifically I would have to agree with PM, which I rarely do, about Colombia and other similar countries. The poverty and differences in income between the bottom and top are so extreme. But I wonder about the big corporate ripoffs in the US that are much more difficult to quantify and identify. Pretty sure the little guy in Colombia has to deal with petty local corruption more regularly than thr average US citizen. But what do I know?

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 21:27 EST

Just saying @elex but I made a post in here pointing out that Colombian carbon usage is 1/10th of that per Capita of the US.

Now as an expat I’m sure I’m not on the low end of the Colombian scale but by being here I have made changes in my lifestyle that reduce my carbon footprint.

But perhaps rather ironically all the climate change deniers on the board here if they live here are actually helping out. I’m sure that will upset them.

In Terms of being open to the idea that climate change doesn’t exist that’s difficult. When I lived in Westchester I was a big walker in the countryside. Over fifteen years I saw huge damage in the woodland areas as successively stronger storms passed through. Even in Colombia we’ve lost more trees in the past two years on our Finca that have been lost in the previous fifteen. We had to,take down another one today.

I’m willing to be open, but I need science, not politicians and those with a vested interest, I need more than ‘fake news’.

Hysteria? The problem is that change will need to be significant and won’t be quick. Nobody is listening on the US Government side. Perhaps that makes people shout louder.

As I’ve said before what if the scientists are right? Silencing them, removing their funding, removing discussion about climate change from official websites is a risky approach. Are the deniers really that sure? Are there stances fact based or is this yet another attempt to remove Obama’s legacy from the history book%?

But you ask me to be more open to ideas, but you don’t suggest that the other side needs to reciprocate. I understand the need for commerce to co exist with the environment. An administration at least working to maintain a stable situation I could accept, but one that pushes the growth of the usage of fossil fuels and the removal of sensible restrictions, that seems lunacy.

But it matters little. The Right have control of the situation and are not open to discussion. I trust they understand the gravity of their decision. The world needs them to be right, but it needs to be more than a gut decision. Too much is at stake.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 21:49 EST

At this point I wonder, seriously, if we need huge pumps and filters to pull the pollution out of the air and the oceans. Individual actions at this point are symbolic. I've heard the idea of planting a trillion trees. I figured that if one were to try to count to a trillion it were be impossible in one lifetime. A lot of f...n trees. But not impossible.

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 21:52 EST

This makes no sense.
If AGW is real and the consequences are mass extinction then people who believe it is so would be doing quite a bit to stop it. An obvious measure would be to stop turning low carbon people into high carbon people. A Colombian in the USA produces 10 times as much carbon waste as a Colombian in Colombia (assuming PL’s numbers are good). This is a no brainer, he stays in Colombia, the world is better for it. Similar argument for every other country in the world. Meanwhile the USA reduces its per capita emissions. Adding more Americans is a terrible idea.
And yet the people who believe it are not stopping immigration into high carbon countries. They appear to encourage it.
Either they don’t actually believe AGW is real or there is something more important than misery and death for the poor and the vulnerable. They predict millions will die in Bangladesh, why does no one care?
I must be missing something.

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PFleetwood
8/15/2019 22:03 EST

So you are telling me living in Colombia is not just like the tela novela 'Queen of the South'? Watching right now on USA network.... ;-)

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ParadiseLost
8/15/2019 22:05 EST

Interesting @justsomeguy to link the carbon debate to the immigration debate.

Try this. The US has taken more than it’s fair share of carbon over the years to make itself wealthy. Now surely, as we’re being even handed, now Colombia gets it turn to be the big carbon consumer and the US has to dramatically cut back.

Or is the idea that low carbon countries like Colombia need to stay that way, and be poor, to balance out the excesses of the US?

Another argument on here was that oil usage would grow as developing nations became more industrialized. Perhaps usage needs to be constant, it’s just someone else’s turn to consume fossil fuels. After all the US is arguably rich enough. It’s countries like Colombia that need meaningful growth.

To me the individual migrant isn’t the point. They, in a country the size of the US have no measurable impact. But existing consuming countries don’t get to continue to use their unfair share.

Or if they do what would be the argument?

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 22:27 EST

I think everyone should do what is easy and inexpensive to reduce their carbon footprint. I live in Virginia, I have no A/C. When I'm alone in the house I don't heat it, I hang my cloths, I walk when easy. These things make sense to a conservationist are easy to do and not expensive.

If people in other countries want to burn oil or coal that is up to them and is not my affair. I was speaking of what the USA can do to reduce its carbon emissions. And in the process reduce worldwide emissions. Fewer Americans would be an obvious step. Adding more Americans will increase the USA carbon emissions. This is easy to understand.

Currently Colombia has much lower per capita emissions so bringing a Colombian to the USA is a bad deal for the world and the USA. Some day in the distant future when Colombian per capita emissions exceed the USA then it will make sense to move folks to the USA.

More Americans means more American carbon emissions. Immigration tends to increase the total number of Americans. That isn't my doing, that is just reality.

If AGW is real then we reduce the USA per capita emissions and we reduce the number of Americans and the world is better off.

Is that incorrect?

Name a problem the world has that has as it solution "make more Americans".

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JustSomeGuy
8/15/2019 22:54 EST

census.gov estimate of 40,000,000 people in the USA born in other countries. That is close to the total population of Colombia. What do you consider significant?

I'm not linking anything, I'm saying more Americans will increase emissions.

Without immigration the USA population would be in decline, solving the problem. With immigration the problem gets worse every year.

This is simple.

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mattinnorfolk
8/16/2019 06:08 EST

WW II, The Americans were useful then. The over throw of the USSR was helpful to keep them from taking over all of Europe again. YOu really believe Eastern Europe wants to go back to the USSR? South Koreans seem to be doing better then North Korea if you go by GDP, as they are 60 times larger. The USA makes multiple mistakes, but you really believe the world is better without America? I have heard there even has been a few inventions that have come from there, but those are just rumors. It has made mistakes, but on the the whole Capitalism and free elections seem to be a better overall sysytem then others. I applaud you living without heat and AC, no beef, no airplanes, but you don't get cold in the winter?

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mattinnorfolk
8/16/2019 07:03 EST

Just some, if you get a chance to watch a move "Its a wonderful Life". take out James Stewart and plug in USA and look at it from a historical perespective and let me know.

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JustSomeGuy
8/16/2019 09:35 EST

Hi Matt,

Some of my best friends are Americans. Both of my daughters are. I want nothing but good for Americans.

I don't want to get rid of Americans, just not increase their numbers, that is very different.

I honestly think Americans in general would be better off mowing their own lawns and raising their own children. We don't need to import people to do those things.

We landed people on the moon and brought them back alive and we did it with 170 million people. We have 329 million now and can't put a person on the Space Station without help. The evidence seems to indicate that our abilities to not necessarily increase linearly with population. I don't know that Americans are happier with a larger crowd either, are you happier with more cars on the road?

I think the world would be fine with no increase in the population anywhere. I tend to concentrate on Americans because I'm one, I am responsible for what we do and we do use more resources per capita than most other places.

It seems reasonable to reduce overall resource consumption. One straightforward, ethical way of doing that is to not increase the number off high consumption people. We should of course look at other ways but given the possible consequences of high consumption we should not neglect the obvious solutions with a big payoff.

When the house is 40F it is possible to sit and read a book and be comfortable. I have not found a way to be comfortable when it is 33F in my house. Fortunately most days it floats in the low 40's. I started consuming less electricity because of Mountaintop Removal Strip Mining (MRSM), not AGW. Look at the photos of MRSM, read the stories of the communities it has ruined, you will probably turn the heat down also.

Energy of any kind is a dirty business, some are a lot worse than other, using less is generally better than using more.

If 99% of climate scientist tell me that more Americans is the solution then I will be the first to demand we bring a few hundred million additional people here. I haven't heard any serious scientist recommend that though.

Nathan

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ponymalta
8/16/2019 10:23 EST

PFleetwood

You make a good point, defining what one considers bribery or corruption is a factor.

Culture is one factor, whether Colombian or Latin culture in general ( Italy is considered quiet a corrupt place) History another factor- the challenges of Colombia's past history and how hard to make a living.certainly has an effect.

One issue is consequences- between the IRS and SEC and SOX rules more difficult for US companies to engage in outright corruption- plus investigative reporters. But certainly
corruption/bribery exists in the US, just laws better enforced.

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JustSomeGuy
8/16/2019 10:25 EST

Oops, I misspoke. I don't want to get rid of America but fewer Americans wouldn't hurt anything. If there were only 300 million Americans I think America and the world would not suffer much from the decline and our emission would go down by about 10%. But first maybe a conversation about not increasing the number of people here.

I think there were 150 million Americans when "It's a Wonder Life" was made. There were 300 million when "Transformers" was made.

I've not heard a convincing argument that more people in the USA is better for the people in Bangladesh, or Congo.

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Elexpatriado
8/16/2019 12:25 EST

Still havent read my originalpost Paradise.

NOt ONCE

Did I say it doesnt exist. I even confirmed its existenvmce from personal observation

THAT IS NOT "CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL"

Although this has become an NPC mantra of those who.like to call themselves "progressives"

My only claim is that the effects are wildly exagerated, and those doing the exagerating are doing nothing to solve the problem.other than " virtue signalling.

I wouldnt know if your carbon foit print is less in Colombia. Yyou would have to do a detailed ajdit.I doubt someone like Fechs is..lookinhg at his KWhr. Usage

And I know mine wouldnt be by much because I travel so much. ..something I love and refuse to give up..so I guess I amm an evil person, like the Koch brothers.

Anyway enough on this subject.

Cheers

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PFleetwood
8/16/2019 12:50 EST

I hac a buddy who just liked arguing. At some point I stopped. One time we had a bet on what Einstein said in his theory of relativity. At some point he had to admit I had one the argument. But at that point he told me with certainty Einstein was wrong! If we actually agree on the perils of climate change is there anything that can be done about it or is it unfixable? Avoiding unrealistic debating points. Are we just going to have to wait for a correction that will kill a substantial portion of the world's polluting population.
Another point, the US has a large level of pollution per capita, but it doesn't follow from that that individual human beings are personally doing the polluting. We are talking about corporate, industrial pollution in large part, much of which, as in China, go into producing exports. The devil is really in the details.

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PFleetwood
8/16/2019 12:52 EST

Wow! Pardon all the misspellings and grammatical errors. Coffee hasn't kicked in yet!

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PFleetwood
8/16/2019 13:23 EST

It used to be angry cries that global warming doesn't exist. Now it is angry cries that it does exist but is natural, or overblown, climate change liberal hysteria. Same sh..., different box.

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ParadiseLost
8/16/2019 14:49 EST

@elex not quite sure what your problem is, but it seems easy in the day for it to be drinking. Need to do a detailed audit to work out my carbon footprint is less here? Compared with the north east US

Fly less
At least one car less
Way less mileage - perhaps 20% of the US amount.
Fly perhaps 15% of what I used to
Don’t need heating for half the year - in the NE that’s a huge component
Don’t need air con or fans for the rest of the year
Buy less imported by air goods (because they’re not available)
House 50% of the size in the US
Had a heated swimming pool in the US
Eat way less red meat than in the US as the quality here isn’t great

You might think that still needs a detailed audit. Personally I think it’s pretty obvious. But then you do like an argument.

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JustSomeGuy
8/16/2019 17:20 EST

PL,
I’ve got a friend in Manizales, pretty much the same story. In the States 2 cars, big house, heat, A/C. In Colombia, small house, 1 car, no heat, no A/C, beautiful views, lots of fruits and vegetables. I would be surprised to find that his carbon footprint went up.

PF,
It seems likely that you are right and some resource usage would not change much with small changes in the US population. There are others that would probably drop in a proportional way, number of cars on the road, cows eaten, heater running. Fewer of those would be better than more.

I suppose I come off as anti people. I’m not really, I just want to delay or avoid 100’s of millions dying in 50 years or so. That is what is being predicted, I think. And reduce MTRS, it is ugly.

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nonames
8/16/2019 17:22 EST

Just Guy, I heard it was 12 years.

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Elexpatriado
8/16/2019 18:16 EST

Of course bring out the claims of drinking.

Race card, Trump card, sexist card , if that doent work...drinking card

I think we will all die of natural causes long before we feel any adverse effects personally from climste change.

Only my opinion. Have a great day guys

Muy turcos..ja ja

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elpdiver
8/16/2019 19:17 EST

The next pandemic (and it IS coming), will take care of the 100s of millions of people dying.

LPd

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nonames
8/16/2019 19:21 EST

Do tell LP. Exactly what IS coming?

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ParadiseLost
8/16/2019 19:45 EST

Well the positive thing is when it does arrive all the expats will be able to get treatment for $30 a month. We may die, but we'll save money while we do.

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Elexpatriado
8/16/2019 21:08 EST

JustSomeGuy

50 years? Thats exactly what the Club of Rome said 50 years ago...

And Malthus way before them..

You can see why I am a "sceptical environmentalist"..

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bigjailerman
8/16/2019 21:11 EST

The zombie apocalypse....

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Elexpatriado
8/16/2019 21:26 EST

If you guys really want to decrease your carbon footpront, take the bus like I do..

https://thinkprogress.org/no-flying-is-not-greener-than-driving-7de8d53959ab/

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