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San Javier - Casa Kolacho; a Turning Point in Medellin Colombia

Graffiti vs. Gangs, Art vs. Violence - a Formula for the Future of Comuna 13


Medellin Colombia, Vancouver BC - March 29, 2016 ( stocks newswire), a global news source covering leading sectors including Latin America reports on its recent trip to Medellin Colombia. Staff reporter, Madelyn Forsyth shares images and insight on the transformation of Comuna 13 and how art is playing an integral role.

For certain parts of Medellin, the saying "there's nowhere to go but up" rings true more than most. San Javier is one of those places. Comuna 13 has a violent past riddled with Guerrilla armies and gangs. They are the home of "Operation Orion," where government military groups stormed the community in an effort to rid them of the guerrilla army which had taken up residence in their streets. "Operation Orion" was considered a success for the military but for the civilians it was a different story. The individuals in San Javier said going from the gorillas to the army was just replacing one evil with another. Over a decade after Orion and San Javier still has its troubles but similar to the rest of Medellin the turning point has been made.

Casa Kolaccho has been working in Comuna 13 for just over a decade acting as a kind of Boys and Girls club for those in need of it. Named after their friend, Héctor Pacheco "Kolacho," who was murdered, they use his name to focus on hip hop, rap and graffiti art rather than the violence they have been surrounded in. The group helps channel almost any emotion into art; an art each individual can make a living off of.

Those organizing the group said one of the hardest parts of getting people involved was getting them to see past the area they come from. Those born and raised in San Javier had a reputation of being a part of the violence simply because of the place they were from. Together, they organize concerts and have worked with touring artists like Beyoncé to bring the art of music to the community.

They have worked hard to gain a productive reputation in the community among the people residing there. In doing so they have built a relationship with the young people.

Casa Kolacho worked hard to help kids see the potential they can achieve. They needed to know gang life wasn't the only viable option for them.

Even as the years go on more and more gang members are seeing the impact the group has on the community. Gang members themselves are now striving to get out of the life they originally chose and into something more fulfilling.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship, Casa Kolacho has done wonders in connecting the hard-done by community of San Javier. People growing up in Comuna 13 know they are able to give back to their community on a greater scale. In doing so they are able to contribute to the economy in Medellin and if they really aim high; the world. Newswire

Family in Comuna 13 (San Javier) Medellin Colombia Newswire

The boys of Comuna 13 (San Javier) Medellin Colombia Newswire

Comuna 13 (San Javier) Medellin Colombia =

Casa Kolacho is responsible for 90% of the graffiti in Comuna 13 Newswire

Graffiti as a backdrop in Comuna 13 (San Javier) Medellin Colombia

Madelyn Forsyth for

About ACI Medellín

In 2001, the Council of Medellín, through agreement No.73, authorized the mayor to create an institution to seek international cooperation. Hence, in June 19, 2002, in accordance with Article 95 of Law 489 of 1998, was constituted the International Cooperation Agency of Medellín (ACI) as a result of a partnership between public entities: Medellin Mayor's office, Empresas públicas de Medellín, Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley and Empresas varias de Medellin.

ACI Medellín @acimedellin

ProColombia, the Colombian Government Trade Bureau PROCOLOMBIA @PROCOLOMBIACO

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