Travel Safety In Medellin, Colombia

“Kathleen, I don’t know if you have seen it, but all over CNN online last week was some info about the astounding number, 20,000, of women getting raped in Colombia each year by soldiers and revolutionaries and nothing being done about it. I thought of your daughter…

“I also thought of the fact that I live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and feel totally safe. Others are concerned sometimes when we tell them where we live, and we know they have bought the picture of Mexico presented by the media. Where in a country you live is really a major issue, obviously. Just as when you say California, is it Santa Barbara or Compton?

“Would you say that Medellin is safe overall? You might want to discuss this because it has been in the news. I am interested in Medellin myself so I would like to know what you think.”

–River J., Mexico

You’ve got this figured out.

Mexico, for example, is a big country. Some parts of it are struggling right now with safety issues. Most of us want to avoid those areas. But other parts of Mexico, hundreds of miles away from these trouble zones, including San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial city, are not only safe but also appealing for many other reasons, too.

Yes, Medellin is safe. I’ve traveled in this city at least 10 times over the past two years, on my own and with my daughter, and, as you suggest, I’d never do that if I perceived any safety concern.

That said, Medellin is a city, with some neighborhoods I probably wouldn’t seek out (or suggest my daughter walk around in on her own) at night. But this is true for any city.

Overall, I say again, without hesitation, Medellin is safe.

And beautiful and cheap and many other good things, too.


“Kathleen, the correct FEIE for 2011 is US$92,900, not $91,500, as reported in your Sexy Tax Talk issue. Additionally the 2011 taxable maximum for OASDI is 4.2% up to US$106,800, which equates to US$4,485.60. I offer the following links for future reference as well as accuracy:

FEIE (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion)

OASDI (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance)

–Roger W., United States

You’re right. The amount of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion changes every year. However, the figure I quoted in my tax essay yesterday was for 2010, not 2011, as it’s 2010 taxes that we Americans overseas are now preparing (to meet the Oct. 15 filing deadline). If you go back and take another look at the essay, you’ll see the 2010 reference in parentheses following the FEIE figure.