Gang And Drug Crime In Medellin, Colombia

“Kathleen, right now the International Association of Chiefs of Police is meeting here in Medellin to hear about and study the success of this town in fighting gang and drug crime, once pandemic in this beautiful but formerly dangerous city. They are meeting, including representatives of U.S. police departments, national police forces, chiefs of Interpol, and other international organizations, to learn how transportation and architecture have aided in the fight against crime and to laud the successes of Medellin.

“Now that I’m living here, I just can’t say enough good things about this place. Medellin possesses the most modern and integrated metro and bus system in the world. The metro is about to open an additional 5 kilometers stretching to the southern part of the metroplex, the town of Sabaneta. More is planned. Last year the city opened a mountain escalator some 1,500 feet high reaching from the town center to Commun 13, one of the worst barrios in town. Now with improved transportation and without the need to climb back to one’s home, more of the people can enter into the growing workforce. That’s the idea!

Fiesta de las Flores is in August centered in the Jardin Botanico near the city center. World famous for its collection of orchids and other indigenous species, the Jardin is a major educational institution with many outreach programs and celebrations for the people of Medellin. The fiesta has parades, exhibitions, trade shows, and public displays of giant discs of arranged flowers carried through the streets by the designers. By the way, some 80% of the cut flowers sold in the United States are imported from Colombia.

“There’s a University Jazz Festival taking place three nights next week at Teatro Metropolitano. At the Museo de Antioquia, Botero’s Via Crucis series is on exhibit for the next two months, along with hundreds of other works by local and European modernists. Very interesting are Botero’s pen and pencil studies. The museum’s cafe is one of the best places to eat in town…”

–Lawrence R., Colombia

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