Americans who work overseas for the Foreign Service tend to self-select into two groups: tourists or missionaries. The tourists seek postings mostly for the allure of place-say, the embassies of Paris or Rome. Those who fit the missionary profile don't necessarily disdain the caf‚s of the Left Bank: it's that they'd like them even more if Parisians had recently chosen up sides in a civil war, or maybe if the government were hours from collapse. Something to infuse their work with a touch of purpose.
Thus the life choices of David C. Becker '80. Like Diogenes, he spends his days in search of an honest man. Only, in Becker's case, the odds against his success might be greater than the Greek Cynic's. The men from whom Becker must choose work within an oligarchic culture of haves and have-nots, where corruption, if not publicly lauded, is considered a natural enough career path.
Part of Becker's charge, as deputy sub-director of the narcotics affairs section of the U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia, is to find honest Latin American police officials. And by so doing, to help stop the flow of illegal drugs from Latin America to the rest of the world.