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Colombia: Shots Continue to Ring Out in Medellín

Categories: Colombia, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Politics, Protest, War & Conflict

The city of Medellin [1] is facing a difficult public order situation. The most mentioned area is Comuna 13 [2] [es], with several nocturnal clashes [3] [es] on the first weekend of February. The situation became so serious that Metrocable [4] [translator's note: a cable car system] was forced to suspend its service for 15 minutes [3] [es]. Two people were injured by stray bullets that hit one Metrocable car [5] [es].

The Metrocable System in Medellín by Álvaro Ramírez on Flickr, with the permission of Creative Commons 2.0 [6]

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 [7]) and rapper Jeihhco (@Jeihhco [8]), took to Twitter to express their sadness and call for reflection. Global Voices has gathered some particularly pertinent tweets below:

Juan Mosquera

@lluevelove [9]: Balas en la noche, silencio en la madrugada, pólvora al mediodía, miedo en la tarde.

@lluevelove [9]: Gunshots at night, silence in the morning, dust at midday, fear in the evening.

@lluevelove [10]: No hay silencio que guarde las balas que retumban: su eco son tumbas.

@lluevelove [10]: There is no silence that can keep the shots that boom out: their echoes are tombs.

@lluevelove [11]: 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 [11]: 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 [12]: Se oyen balas, de nuevo y sin saber hasta cuando arde Comuna 13, arde Medellín.

@Jehhico [12]: We hear shots ringing out once more, we don't know for how long Comuna 13 will burn, Medellín is on fire.

@Jehhico [13]: 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 [13]: In the gunpowder gunshots are hidden, in life we sense death's gradual approach, sounds that ache in the heart, in the soul.

@Jehhico [14]: 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 [14]: 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 [15] [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 [16] [en] for the title of most innovative city in the world:

Ramiro Velásquez (@RamiroCiencia [17]) writes:

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18] tiene un funcionario que no hace sino sonreír hasta que le preguntan por la INSEGURIDAD

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18], it has a civil servants that does nothing but smile until he's asked about SECURITY PROBLEMS.

Eliana Castro (@fermina_dz [19]) notes:

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18], tiene un representante de artistas extranjeros.

#MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18], it has an agent for foreign artists.

Laura Albornoz Damme (

¿Por qué el #MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18]? Creo que Medellin es ejemplo para las demás ciudades de Colombia ¿no?

Why #MedellinNOTieneAlcalde [18]? 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.