The Colombian Ambassador to the United States is in Utah participating in Congressman Chris Stewart’s conference on America’s Role in the World. The ambassador is on a mission to change perceptions of his fast growing country.
The perception that most Americans have of Colombia probably involves drug cartels and murders and is based on what they’ve seen on T.V. But Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzòn says his country has come a long way since it’s problems in the 80’s and 90’s.
“We need to tell the people here that Colombia has become a safer country than it was," he says. "Security has improved a lot. We are now a more secure country than many others in the region and in the world.”
Pinzòn says these outcomes show that the U.S. Colombia Plan has been a success, but that continued support from both the government and from private investors will be key to their future.
“If we can tackle these challenges the way we have been doing we will continue to move steadily on a positive trend,” he says.
Utah Congressman Chris Stewart says he invited the ambassador to the conference to show Colombia’s neighbors how partnering with America can result in positive outcomes.
“Because I think they can look at that and go, you know, if we can mimick that, if we can do the same thing, we could have that stability," Stewart says. "We could have that economic growth. We could have that success story as well."
The conference also featured experts on national security, including the director of the NSA facility in Utah, as well as local leaders in international trade.