Bogotá - Big and Beautiful
This photo from the top of the Teleferico shows the sprawling city of almost 10 million people.
Like the rest of Colombia, Bogotá's murder rate has plummeted in the last 25 years, from 80 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1993 to 15.8 in 2015. However, "street crime in the capital is among the country's highest," (www.colombiareports.com, Jan. 2, 2017). I was surprised to read this last fact, though, because we had great experiences with the people in Bogota, such as:
- the man who gave us his transit card (with 30,000 pesos remaining on it - about $15!) after we asked him where we could buy one
- the man who not only told us which stop to disembark from the Transmilenio, but led us to our destination
- the policeman who led me most of the way to my destination, after I asked him where Parque de los Periodistas was
Granted, we didn't stray far from the main tourist areas. Candelaria, the historical district, had zero murders in 2015 but a high robbery rate of 1884 per 100,000 people, about the same as Detroit, Michigan. I never felt threatened, and people generally ignored me, even though I was obviously a tourist.
As in the rest of Colombia, law enforcement has progressed in recent years, and as in Medellin, la policía were everywhere. Perhaps this accounts for the low murder rate in Candelaria (can't get much lower than zero!), but doesn't stop the pickpockets. None of the three of us had anyone try to pilfer our belongings.