Medellín is a metropolitan area in Colombia
Inhabitants: 3,575,000 (World Rank 102)
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Medellín (Spanish pronunciation IPA: [mɛdəˈjiːn] or [mɛdəˈliːn], Spanish: [með̞eˈʝin] or [með̞eˈʎin]) is the second largest city in Colombia and is located in the Aburrá Valley, one of the more northern regions of the Andes in South America. It has a population of 2.4 million inhabitants. Medellín also serves as the core of the Metropolitan Area (Area Metropolitana de Medellín), the second largest in Colombia in terms of population with more than 3.2 million and the 95th world most populous metropolitan area in the world.
Medellín was founded in 1616 by the Spaniard Francisco Herrera y Campuzano as Poblado de San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence Town) in the nowadays El Poblado District. In 1675 Regent Mariana of Austria created the Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candelaria). In 1826 was proclaimed by the Spaniard Colonial Administration as Provincial Capital of Antioquia. In 1803 was founded the University of Antioquia, one of the most prestigious government-owned education centers in Colombia. After the Colombian Independence from Spain, Medellín became the Capital of the Federal State of Antioquia until 1888 with the proclamation of a centralized Political Constitution. During the 19th century Medellín was a dynamic commercial center with the exportation of gold first and after with the growing production of coffee. After the Thousand Days War (1899 - 1902), Medellín was the first Colombian center to start its Industrial Revolution with the opening of textile companies, transport projects like the train that made possible the development of import-export activities of its industry and the founding of several centers of superior education and vocational training that created an industrialist and intellectual class.
During the second half of the 20th century, Medellín became the headquarter of the infamous Pablo Escobar, leader of its criminal organization, that became the seventh richest man of the world from drug trade according with a 1989 Forbes Magazine's report. It was because he and his associated settled their business in the industrial urban center, that his organization was named by the American Media as "Cartel of Medellín". Escobar led a terrorist war (1980's - 1990's) against the Colombian government in order to dissuade any intention of extradition to the U.S.A until he was killed by police forces in December 2, 1993. The Medellin Cartel War was one of the most notable factors causing the city's reputation as a violent and dangerous city, being the motive for a large number of murders. This reputation is one that the city is still trying hard to shake off, and holds true in a reduced with varied estimates averaging around 35 per 100,000 people.
The city gained its former industrial dynamism at the beginning of the 21st century with the construction of the Metro de Medellín urban railway, liberalised development policies, improved security, improved education; and the international promotion of the city as a tourist destination.
The Medellín Metropolitan Area makes the 67% of the State of Antioquia's GDP and the 11% of the National Economy.
Medellín is also regarded as important to the region for its universities, academies, commerce, industries, science, health services, flower production, festivities and nightlife. The Metropolitan Area of Medellín is the birthplace of several personalities like the rock musician Juanes, the inspirational city of painter Botero, the birth place of movements of literature like Nadaism, philosophers like González and Zuleta, the Colombian capital of tango where Gardel came to die in 1935, the seat of the International Festival of Poetry and many others. It is claimed that Medellín is a much safer city than previously in recent times. Partly thanks to this, it is one of the main tourist destinations in Colombia.