Half a miracle

Medellín’s rebirth is nothing short of astonishing. But have the drug lords really been vanquished?

Fifteen years ago, a single mother named Libia Gomez converted part of her modest cinder-block house into a shop selling sundries ranging from pencils to toothpaste. The location was hardly ideal. Gomez lived in Santo Domingo Savio, a onetime squatter community on a steep, forested slope overlooking the Colombian city of Medellín that had evolved into a permanent slum.

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