It is a strange feeling to see a policeman doing a salsa dance. She smiles and moves her hips to the beat of the music in public. In each hand he appears to be holding an imaginary maraca, and he shakes them, first up the left and down the right, then to the other. And the stranger is also watching him along with other policemen who dance salsa, more than 10 officers, all together, with a band made up of policemen who play salsa, specially designed for the occasion. On the truck done, the colors are decorated with flowers. Of Medellin Metropolitan PoliceAll green and yellow.
“Aguardiente Antioqueño 24 degrees without sugar!” one of the animators of the traditional shouts flower fair parade, sponsored by Aguardiente Antioqueño 24 degrees without Chinese, in charge of animating the 18th class, while the car passes along the agents. “We have a love-hate relationship with the police,” one cigarette street vendor tells La Nacional. “But in general there’s a lot of respect.” Thousands of people who follow the parade from the stands, or in makeshift rows of roadside chairs, or even from trees, clap, shout and salute the officers. And they drink brandy.
medellin The niche – of the famous drug cartel Pablo Escobar – was the scene of the largest and bloodiest operation of Colombian security forces against urban guerrillas. Operation Orion2002, was held in commune 13west of the city and, according to the National Center for Historical Memory, left a balance of 17 dead by public force, 71 by paramilitary forces, 80 wounded civilians and 105 missing.
There are traces of that confrontation in the form of frescoes, frescoes and frescoes throughout the city. But life in Medellin changed drastically. At the height of the conflict, as the locals call it . the capital of AntiochThe second largest urban center in the country after bogotaIt was considered the most dangerous city in the world. In 1993 the murder rate per 100 thousand population was 382. Today it is 7.6. Change is also seen in public transport initiatives that seek to integrate city communes and, more recently, Investments from significant technology companies that attempt to modify Medellin’s productive- and educational-profile.
software valley center
Part of Komuna 13 is now a tourist circuit. Groups of visitors congregate on a steep access, between stalls selling specific foods and T-shirts of the Colombian team, Atlético Nacional or KPOP band BTS, and walk towards the neighbourhood. The place has two escalator systems and a reputed metro station San Javier Stationwhich connects with the center of Medellin and metro-cable, the cable car system that reaches the most remote communes. It is one of the few cities in the world that uses a cable car as a means of public transport.
And also in Komuna 13 a . Is Software Valley Center, The building, with a modern, rectangular structure and painted purple, is one of the neighborhood’s distinctive constructions made of exposed brick, and which when viewed from the subway and from afar, appears to form a gray pyramid.
“The purpose of these centers is” training for entrepreneurship”, says Luis Miguel Jaramillo, technical coordinator for Software Valley Centers. “We go to neighborhoods, we call on leaders, whom we call ambassadors from each region, to learn about and spread our initiatives. There are training programs for all ages, which cover programming, entrepreneurship and local related to help for businesses”, he added.
programs, carried out in conjunction with some educational institutions such as withStarted at the beginning of the 21st century and renewed in 2020. last year, approx 13 thousand people got training In some Saksham Kendras-five have already opened, and five are to open and the idea is to reach 21-. were made More than 200 workshops on technology and development, among other activities. On the other hand, according to the Medellin Cooperation and Investment Agency, over 200 companies have established operations in the city over the past two decades. Stand out, among technical people Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Globant and MercadoLibre, among others.
“Why in Medellin? Many reasons. But one of the main is that Medellin was designated as a district for innovation. in Colombia. and that means, by government policies, a special arrangement For companies that want to settle here. he is, Tax deduction and financial facilities that make your installation attractive”, says Jaramillo.
There are tax benefits, for example, 100% relaxation in payment of industry and commerce taxes in 2022 and 50% in 2023, for companies formalizing through official events; 50% tax exemption for 2022 and 2023 for companies incorporated till 2021 and those related to information technology and communication; 100% exemption from real estate tax in 2022 and 80% in 2023 For companies that are incorporated after 2021 and are located in the city’s economic innovation and creative districts.
One of the main advantages of new businesses is the jobs they create, “And that’s where Software Valley Centers also come in. Training means, for these companies, that there’s labor available on siteand in general cheaper than in their countries of origin”, says Jaramillo.
sex tourism and conflict
However, there problems that persist, In botero square, also known as Sculpture Square, because of the number of works donated by artist Fernando Botero, prostitution occupies almost as much space as souvenir sellers. Sex workers approach tourists with photo books, and the scene is repeated in other squares and streets of the city.
Also there is a tent in the middle of the stalls armed forces, “Our intention is to contact the citizens and explain our work to them. We don’t recruit, that’s what illegal organizations do. We provide information to those who may be interested in joining the force,” one of the agents told La Nacine, while a colleague puts his hand around the teenager and shows her a brochure. Still have a struggle against drug gangs.It’s not the same as before, but always present“Dice.
Near Plaza Botero, and within Medellin, is small town money, It is a reproduction of a colonial settlement in the city. One-storey house, next to each other and of different colors, red, blue, white, around a square with a cobblestone floor. In the center, a fountain. The location, designed for indoor and outdoor tours, can be used as a model for an animated Disney film.
Colonel Rolfi Mauricio Jiménez, deputy commander of the Metropolitan Police, walks around with two other officers. People come to him as if they are reggaeton stars. A man shakes hands and thanks him for his services. A boy waits next to her, impatient, hitting her on the waist from time to time—because the colonel is more than two meters tall and her hand reaches that far—and begs selfie,
“theme” The murder rate has dropped drasticallyYou can always improve and we work to achieve that,” the colonel tells La Nacional. “but Now we focus more on other issues also which are related to citizensas the subject theft, Especially car theft. This also Extortion and subtle extortion, which some gangs do at establishments. They demand money to be able to function in certain areas. On the other hand, shoplifting has decreased by 45% in recent years. And as far as drug trafficking is concerned, more than half of arrests are due to security problems. micro trafficking of marijuana, cocaine and bazooka, in addition to amphetamines and synthetic drugs, which are distributed in tourist parts of Medellin, We have seized five tonnes of drugs so far this year,” he says.
Beyond these struggles, Madeleine attempts to turn the pain and the scars she has left into something positive. The same is seen in the parade flower fairIn which the cars of the security forces took part.
The tradition began in the 1950s, and it takes place once a year. Participated in the current version, with free access for the first time about 800 thousand people, The central attraction of the parade is “ciletero”, a person who lives in a field, on the outskirts of the city, and who grows flowers. The flowers are used to create complex arrangements that are carried by each celetero on foot, in a cileta. Sillets, now used to make arrangements, were formerly used by slaves to transport the wealthy. Since they did not want to go to the city among the mud of the hills, the slaves carried them with sillet-a kind of chair on their backs.
“Happy to be back after what happened, thank God for all he gives us for these wonderful days,” says Jose Angel Zapata, a celetro, like his father and grandfather. coronavirus pandemic The parade was prevented from happening in person, and this year the whole city celebrates its return. Jorge traveled 2.4 kilometres, which he had to travel along the Avenida del Río, weighing 130 kg, on foot, along with dozens of other silators. Celestial Red Purple Yellow. For a moment, the avenue connecting the city’s south and north, is a tide of colours.