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A Tale of Two Colombias

by Brendan O’Boyle

Colombia has transformed dramatically from the bad old days of the 1980s and ’90s. In midsize cities throughout the country, fast-growing populations are safer, more prosperous, and have better access to basic services than at any time in recent memory. But for the 25 percent of Colombians living in rural areas, development has yet to take hold. Bridging this divide means first and foremost upgrading the country’s lagging infrastructure network, one of the least developed among the region’s leading economies, according to the World Economic Forum. President Juan Manuel Santos has made this task a priority, launching the Fourth Generation (4G) road concessions program aimed at constructing over 4,900 miles of highway through dozens of public-private partnerships.

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sources: Consumer confidence: Fedesarrollo; GDP: DANE; Approval ratings: Gallup Colombia; Electricity, infant mortality, clean water and education: U.S. Agency for International Development; Poverty: World Bank
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