“If somebody wants you dead, it’s actually pretty cheap.”

By Joel Bowman, Editorial Director, International Man
February 20, 2019

MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA – “Looks like he might’ve p#ssed off the wrong kinda people.”

Our portero (building doorman) was explaining the “way things work” here in Colombia.

To back up a bit…

A week or so ago, a man was shot dead a few blocks from our apartment, on the main route into town. According to preliminary reports, it seemed like he was the victim of incredibly bad luck… and even worse timing.

There he was… sitting in an Uber at a traffic light… in the middle of the afternoon… when all of a sudden…


A “stray bullet” delivered him from the certain troubles of this world… to the unknown dilemmas of the next.

“What are the odds?” we wondered at the time. Perhaps longer than first understood…

“Turns out it wasn’t one bullet,” our porter continued, “but half a dozen. And they weren’t exactly ‘stray,’ either. Looks like a couple of guys on a moto actually pulled up alongside him at the intersection and unloaded into the passenger side of his ride.

“That’s the way things were done here back in the day. It doesn’t happen so much anymore. But you hear things. If someone wants you dead, it’s actually pretty cheap.”


Life is full of risk, Dear Reader. It lurks at every intersection… lies in wait in every bathtub… stores away in every fishbone…

What to do, then? Stay at home… cowering under the bed… with the lights out?

Perhaps the greatest risk in life isn’t that it might all end at any moment (that much is certain) … but that it never really gets going.

As Dwight Eisenhower once quipped, “If you want total security, go to prison. There, you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”

To the list of goodies available “inside,” Ike might have added sex, drugs and free gym membership, among other perks.

But you get the idea…

All the riches in the world are worth zip if you aren’t free to spend them as you wish.

Which raises the topics of asset protection, taxes, jurisdictional diversification… and plenty of other subjects that will have to wait for another day.

Until then…


Joel Bowman for International Man


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