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  Field Notes From
Medellín's Mean Streets

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From Author

Eliza Griswold

Medellín's Mean Streets On Assignment

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From Photographer

Meredith Davenport

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Betty Bastidas (top) and Merri Cyr


Medellín's Mean Streets On Assignment Author Medellín's Mean Streets On Assignment Author
Medellín's Mean Streets

Field Notes From Author
Eliza Griswold

Best Worst Quirkiest
   I had a good time watching photographer Meredith Davenport and her Colombian farmer friend whoop and scramble around a muddy wallow trying to stir some sullen hippos. We were on the old estate of the late drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. A decade after his death, the hippos he imported are still living there.

   After the third hour of watching the hippos refusing to comply with Meredith, I was terribly uninterested in the whole thing. You can't interview a hippo, so they didn't serve what I needed to do at all. Plus, I got bitten by a bunch of potentially malaria-infected mosquitoes.

   Medellín is the weirdest city in the world, and its geography reflects the level of economic and social bifurcation. The center of the city is so incredibly rich that it feels like Los Angeles, but once you go up into the hills where the shantytowns are, it's like a war zone.


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