Illegal enterprises and the city
When territorial control is an issue of urban governance. Lessons from Medellín, Colombia
ByLaure Leibler
Pages 14

This chapter presents the case of Medellin in the light of a conceptual framework on organised crime and extralegal governance. It focuses on the shift to a more geographical approach through the idea of territorial control. The chapter also presents the main aspects of territorial control as exercised by illegal groups, taking mainly the case of the first and second districts of Medellin. The difficulty of characterising the illegal actors in Medellin, the debates it generates, may be linked to the issue of territorial control. The illegal actors occupy the streets, especially corners and certain strategic points, and demand access to the rooftops in the north-eastern part of the city. The conclusion underlines the Medellin paradox: By acknowledging the existence of a concomitant territorial control and tackling its effects, the local administration can reinforce its governance and display innovative politics.