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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
World Stories: Medellin Transformed
First broadcast May 2007

Pablo Escobar

BBC World Service journalists come from every corner of the world. Balanced news reporting is their job - covering the news minute-by-minute is what drives them most of them time.

In this special series of programmes, ten BBC journalists tell stories that have a bigger message about life on our planet: emotive, human stories that humble us.

These world stories offer extraordinary insight across cultures. These are the stories our journalists have always wanted to tell.

Programme One: Medellin Transformed

Medellin, Colombia, was infamous for decades as one of the most violent cities on the planet. Drug cartels, urban guerillas and paramilitary cells fought to take control, killing thousands.

But in the last few years, rates of violence have drastically decreased, and the city is living a renaissance of peace and hope. To what does Medellin owe this new phenomenon?

BBC World Service journalist and presenter, Luis Fernando Restrepo, returns to the city where he was born and grew up, to investigate reasons for its transformation. Through his personal account he describes life amidst urban warfare during the years of his youth.

On his journey, Luis Fernando interviews survivors of massacres and bomb attacks, people who worked with the drug baron Pablo Escobar, and political leaders of Colombia - such as President Alvaro Uribe, the Vice-President Francisco Santos and the Mayor of Medellin, Sergio Fajardo, who is considered instrumental in the transformation of the city.

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