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Medellín's Mean Streets



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Daring to Dance
Photograph by Meredith Davenport

Young men risking bruised shoulders by moshing at Medellín nightclubs may be risking far more. Punk rock lyrics have traditionally railed against Colombia's often corrupt authorities. Beginning in the 1980s, the late drug lord Pablo Escobar saw an opportunity in the punkers' disenchantment. He recruited sicarios (assassins) from the punk scene to gun down police who were trying to capture or kill him. This prompted special paramilitary forces to strike back and go after youths in the punk world. After a lengthy cat-and-mouse search, government marksmen finally shot Escobar to death in 1993 as he tried to escape from his last hideout. Though some have toned down their lyrics, punkers are still targets of harassment and incarceration by the police.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Canon EOS 1N
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 400
Lens: 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Indoors
Time of Day: Night
Lighting Techniques: Bounce flash off ceiling


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