Colombia: Shots Continue to Ring Out in Medellín

The city of Medellin is facing a difficult public order situation. The most mentioned area is Comuna 13 [es], with several nocturnal clashes [es] on the first weekend of February. The situation became so serious that Metrocable [translator's note: a cable car system] was forced to suspend its service for 15 minutes [es]. Two people were injured by stray bullets that hit one Metrocable car [es].

The Metrocable System in Medellín by Álvaro Ramírez on Flickr, with the permission of Creative Commons 2.0

The Metrocable System in Medellín by Álvaro Ramírez on Flickr, with the permission of Creative Commons 2.0.

In reaction to the events, two of the city's inhabitants, Juan Mosquera (@lluevelove) and rapper Jeihhco (@Jeihhco), took to Twitter to express their sadness and call for reflection. Global Voices has gathered some particularly pertinent tweets below:

Juan Mosquera

@lluevelove: Balas en la noche, silencio en la madrugada, pólvora al mediodía, miedo en la tarde.

@lluevelove: Gunshots at night, silence in the morning, dust at midday, fear in the evening.

@lluevelove: No hay silencio que guarde las balas que retumban: su eco son tumbas.

@lluevelove: There is no silence that can keep the shots that boom out: their echoes are tombs.

@lluevelove: Toda la ciudad como una. Toda la ciudad comuna. Vos y yo tenemos la piel intacta pero estamos heridos los dos, como aquel que no conocés.

@lluevelove: All the city as one. All the city – united. You and I have the skin intact, but we are both hurt, just like as the others you don't know.


@Jehhico: Se oyen balas, de nuevo y sin saber hasta cuando arde Comuna 13, arde Medellín.

@Jehhico: We hear shots ringing out once more, we don't know for how long Comuna 13 will burn, Medellín is on fire.

@Jehhico: Entre la pólvora se camuflan las balas, entre la vida se va sintiendo cercana la muerte, sonidos que duelen en el corazón, en el alma.

@Jehhico: In the gunpowder gunshots are hidden, in life we sense death's gradual approach, sounds that ache in the heart, in the soul.

@Jehhico: Duele tanta mierda en las calles, el silencio que tiene el barrio a esta hora es un silencio doloroso, es aterrador, es miedo puro, latente.

@Jehhico: So may crap in the streets, it hurts, the silence that has fallen in the neighbourhood righ now is a hurting silence, terrifying, pure, underlying fear.

Alongside the above, the hashtag #Medelllinnotienealcalde [tn: roughly “Medellín has no mayor”] began to trend, a springboard for Twitter users to discuss the problems in the city, which has been characterised by its vigour but also by a history of violence and which has recently been nominated [en] for the title of most innovative city in the world:

Ramiro Velásquez (@RamiroCiencia) writes:

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde tiene un funcionario que no hace sino sonreír hasta que le preguntan por la INSEGURIDAD

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde, it has a civil servants that does nothing but smile until he's asked about SECURITY PROBLEMS.

Eliana Castro (@fermina_dz) notes:

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde, tiene un representante de artistas extranjeros.

, it has an agent for foreign artists.

Laura Albornoz Damme (

¿Por qué el #MedellinNOTieneAlcalde? Creo que Medellin es ejemplo para las demás ciudades de Colombia ¿no?

Why #MedellinNOTieneAlcalde? Isn't Medellín in many ways an example for the rest of Colombia to follow?

The city's current problems with respect to security are clearly complex, a fact made evident by online debate.

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