Modern History of Colombia

2228 WordsJan 25, 20189 Pages
It is impossible to think of the modern history of Colombia without images of drug warlords, impoverished citizens, and corruption coming to mind. The history of Medellin, Colombia perfectly embodies this narrative. Once known as the “City of Everlasting Spring” due to its beautiful climate and landscape, Medellin was plunged into decades of terror in the 1980s when Pablo Escobar and the Medellin drug cartel rose to power. As Escobar led his campaign of violence and narco-trafficking, recruiting an army of adolescent assassins, Medellin became the most violent city in the world, with nearly 400 homicides per 100,000 people in the early 1990s. Impoverished children in the barrios of Medellin found themselves forced into lives of crime. Even the death of Pablo Escobar in 1993, while symbolic, did little to slow the tide of war, as the pendulum was already set in motion. When one criminal organization fell, another rose to take its place. As recently as 2002 the government was forced to deploy helicopter gunships and soldiers in the barrios in an effort to regain some semblance of control. “To put it in a word: fear. Medellin was living in fear”. Sergio Fajardo, mayor of Medellin from 2004-2007, faced the daunting task of revitalizing Medellin. Fajardo conquered endemic violence, corruption, and inequality through extensive planning and the execution of a strategy known as “urban acupuncture”, where he targeted critical areas of the city with architectural projects that serve
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