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“Barrios en Guerra” Explores Organized Crime in Medellín and Río de Janeiro

“Barrios en Guerra” Explores Organized Crime in Medellín and Río de Janeiro

Río de Janeiro, the host of the 2016 Olympics and the World Cup in 2014 is featured in a two-part original production, Barrios en Guerra, which explores organized crime in City and also Medellín, Colombia and takes viewers to their most dangerous neighborhoods to witness the struggle to take back the streets from drug trafficking and organized crime.

The Discovery en Español program features the testimonies of Río de Janeiro and Medellín residents who experienced first hand conditions of extreme violence verging on civil war. The first part of the program, which focuses on Medellín, recounts the two most violent years in the city’s history during the period when Pablo Escobar controlled the continent’s drug trade and was the most powerful and wanted drug kingpin in the world. After Escobar’s death in the 1990s, armed gangs or “combos” vied for control of valuable drug-trafficking routes. Their battles unleashed a wave of violence that turned Medellín into one of the world’s most dangerous cities, leaving a toll of thousands of innocent victims and many teenagers and young people in jail.

Barrios en Guerra presents the testimony of one former drug operative who explains how he got involved in the illegal narcotics business, how the gangs operated, and the factors that enabled him to leave this criminal world and become an exemplary father and citizen. The program also presents the wider context of the government, police and military intervention that succeeded in lowering the violent crime and murder rate by 60%, allowing Medellin to become one of Latin America’s most prosperous cities today.

The second episode of the documentary relies on the testimony of members of the security forces, sociologists and even a former drug trafficker to present a detailed look at all aspects of the illegal narcotics trade in Río de Janeiro, from tracing distribution routes to the discovery of a huge cocaine processing laboratory in the middle of the city’s favelas. Barrios en Guerra details the complex operation that led to the arrest in 2010 of the infamous “Nem,” the capo of Rocinha, the favela that became one of the city’s main hubs for illicit drugs. The program also documents the work of the Río police, who gradually pacified the neighborhoods liberated from criminal control.

The show airs Sunday at 10:00 p.m. E/P.

Source: Discovery en Español

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