TV adventurer Simon Reeve found hope amidst chaos and conflict of Colombia

Simon Reeve (BBC / Craig Hastings)
Simon Reeve (BBC / Craig Hastings)

PRESENTER and adventurer Simon Reeve explores the complex and often violent world of Colombia tonight.

For 50 years one of the most spectacular countries in the world has been gripped by a brutal civil war.

It has seen more than 200,000 people killed and displaced another seven million.

But Simon found hope amidst the chaos and conflict.

“In the capital, Bogota, I met a woman called Luz who is what’s known as an IDP – an internally displaced person – basically a refugee in her own country,” said Simon.

“She was forced out of her home in a remote bit of Colombia and suffered appallingly.

“She had a terrible story, but she was also very much in favour of the peace process.

“And she spoke very movingly and with great dignity about her hopes for the future for her children and grandchildren.

“I get quite emotional thinking about her. It was a real honour to meet her.

“We Brits really can’t imagine how much people in places like that suffer.

“And so much of what Colombia has endured is because of the cocaine trade.”

Simon says there were numerous trip highlights, but twist his arm and an eatery outing comes to mind.

“It was a meal I had at a fancy restaurant in Medellin, which used to be one of the most dangerous cities in the world, but has now been transformed.

“The restaurant is run by a celebrity chef who has won lots of acclaim for his food, but the real treat for me was in the kitchen.

“It has a Cooking For Peace project that employs former combatants from the conflict alongside each other.

“Former deadly enemies work together making delicious food.”

Colombia With Simon Reeve, BBC2, tonight, 9pm.