ICANN still considering options for December meeting.
ICANN plans to hold a meeting in Latin America this December, but it hasn’t yet named a location. Colombia is frequently mentioned as a candidate, and the country’s Minister of Information and Communications Technologies has sent a letter to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom restating his country’s interest in hosting the event.
On the surface, Colombia might be a good candidate. It’s getting a lot of press as it liberalizes its .co country code domain name. But the negative community reaction due to safety concerns during this year’s event in Nairobi, Kenya, is likely causing the ICANN staff to great consternation. Although the situation in Colombia is much improved over the past decade, it is still a relatively dangerous country with rival factions such as FARC and ELN battling and narco-terrorism is still prevalent in small towns and rural areas.
An ICANN event would likely be held in a large city, which probably reduces the chances of being kidnapped. The risks are somewhat similar to Mexico City, where ICANN held a meeting last year, where ATM and taxicab robberies are fairly common. I haven’t heard of any major security incidents from either the Mexico City or Nairobi meetings.
Will ICANN play it safe to avoid having many delegates stay home? Or will having an event in Belgium in between the Kenya and potential Colombia event be enough of a breather?