Sunday night’s 60 Minutes news program showed an interesting story about how Columbia ended a half-decade of war, debilitating poverty and a never-ending drug trade to be a symbol of how a country can rebound. As a result, tourism to the country has double in the past two years.
The first part of the segment showed how an ad campaign and a Christmas outreach ended a war with rebels. It wasn’t easy and politicians nearly struck it down, but not a single shot was fired. President Juan Manuel Santos earned the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for it.
Correspondent Lara Logan traveled from Bogota to Medellin to see a city that’s unrecognizable from a decade ago. In the 80s-90s (and if you’ve seen the Netflix show Narcos), Medellin was the cocaine and murder capital of the world.
The formula to turn it around is simple, and I’ve seen it first-hand in cities like Belfast, Bilbao and Johannesburg — invest in public transportation, the arts and small business. Former Medellin mayor and Antioquia governor of Sergio Fajardo showed the modern buildings, arts centers (like MAMM, Museo de Arte Moderno) and nightlife that’s making Medellin a top destination in South America.
The focus of the revitalization is the escalators and sky buckets that take locals and visitors up the mountain side. The series of escalators, known as Escaleras Electricas De La Comuna 13, will remind you of the series escalators in Hong Kong. The sky buckets is meant to symbolical connect the business area to the working class favelas along the mountain to make it a more united city.
You can watch the report below: