As Medellin Shakes Its Drug Habit...

What does a city do when its best known businessman falls in a hail of police bullets? If that city is Medellin, it breathes a sigh of relief and looks forward to better times. On Dec. 2, 1993, cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar finally was hunted down, ending a reign of narcoterrorismo that included countless bombings, murders, and kidnappings--but that also brought a flood of cash. During his heyday, a saying was often heard around town: "Medellin may be doing poorly, but the economy is doing fine." With Escobar dead and the Medellin cartel broken up, local industrialists figured the city would really take off.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.