While in Cartagena I landed an interview with Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, who attended the London School of Economics, speaks fluent English and is familiar with the Daily Telegraph, the newspaper I work for.
The successor to President Uribe, President Santos took office in 2010 and knows full well the problems facing Colombia, a poverty-stricken country riddled with drug and terrorist-related violence.
He is determined to attract more foreign investment and he tells me he is overseeing plans for a new port city of 150,000 people to be built in the south of Colombia by a private developer with Chinese money. "It is a very big project and it is already well underway," he said.
Another of his priorities is ensuring every child receives an education and when I spoke with him he had just attended the opening of a new school in a run-down shanty town on the edge of a lagoon on the outskirts of Cartagena. "Education is of primary importance and every child
should have the opportunities offered by good schooling and good teachers," he said.
To some, Colombia's problems are insurmountable, but President Santos seems determined to confront them head-on.