Such progress has been made in Colombia that it is hard to remember that only 20 years ago, the country was renowned not for its practical people or its wonderful cities and rainforests, but for its cocaine-fuelled murder rate. At the height of the drug war in the 1990s, Colombians suffered ten kidnappings a day, 75 political assassinations a week, and 36,000 murders a year (fifteen times the rate in the United States).1 The military and police competed with an array of guerrillas, gangs, narcos and paramilitaries. Guerrillas had so isolated the largest cities that urban-dwellers traveling as little as five miles out of town risked kidnapping, or worse. Twenty-seven thousand two hundred thirteen people died in 1997-2001 alone.2 Colombia entered the 21st century at risk of becoming a failed state. Since then, national leaders have turned the situation around, applying a well-designed strategy with growing public and international support. Kidnappings, murders and cocaine cultivation are down, government control has expanded, and the economy is recovering. Talks in Havana, Cuba, offer the hope of peace, even as fighting continues on the ground in key areas. But the situation is shakier than it seems—indeed the very success of Colombia’s current campaign carries the risk of future conflict.