Pablo Escobar may be long gone, but Bogotá remains the main port for drugs and weapons going from Colombia to Panama and points north. According to the State Department, there is a greater risk of being kidnapped in Colombia than in any other country in the world. Located in downtown Bogotá, Barrio Santa Fe is as degenerate as it gets. Cocaine, crack, and heroin are available in every storefront. When I visited here recently, I saw runty whores piled in the darkness of the doorways. Poorly disguised transsexuals, painted in clown makeup, flashed their skirts. Ever-present here is the danger of burundanga, the Colombian criminal’s drug that makes you agreeable to all requests and wipes your memory.

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