Once the world's most dangerous city, Medellin, Colombia, is now a relatively safe and culturally vibrant haven for its 2.1 million residents. In 1991, Medellin recorded 6,349 homicides, or nearly 18 per day; today, thanks to improved security under the administration of president Alvaro Uribe, the rate is barely 2 a day, reports the Miami Herald.
''Before, you were afraid to go to the store. You'd see dead people in the street,'' said a street vendor. "Now I leave home every morning at 4am without worries to ride the Metro Cable.'' Since taking office in 2002, Uribe has hounded the FARC guerrillas, dismantled most of the right-wing paramilitary groups, and clamped down on human rights abuses by government troops.