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Maria Isabel Naranjo Restrepo

Medellín, Colombia
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About Maria
Maria Isabel Naranjo Restrepo is a journalist based in Medellín, Colombia.
Research Investigative Journalism Interview (Print / Radio / Podcast)
Technology Science & Environment Arts & Books

Streets that are part of history and streets that make history

29 Dec 2015  |  www.universocentro.com
Barbacoas Street in Medellín, once known as Calle del Calzoncillo, has evolved into a vibrant heart of the city's LGBTQ+ community. From its early days in the 1980s, when gay socialization spaces emerged amidst repression, to the present, where thirteen establishments including bars, clubs, and saunas line the street, Barbacoas has become a symbol of freedom and revolution for the gay community. The street's history intertwines with the Quebrada La Loca, whose stones were used to build the Metropolitan Cathedral. Today, Barbacoas is celebrated for its annual Pride march, drawing parallels to San Francisco's Castro Street, and is a testament to the city's ongoing social transformation.

Neighborhood Tattoo

29 Dec 2015  |  www.universocentro.com
César Vidal, known as 'Crazy', is a self-taught tattoo artist from the Villatina neighborhood who started by drawing anime characters and learned to tattoo on various surfaces. The author was introduced to him through a friend, E., and visited his tattoo parlor. The article narrates the experiences of Crazy's clients, including a woman named L. who gets a tattoo symbolizing her connection with her boyfriend after a personal loss. The story also touches on the local culture and the personal histories of the neighborhood's residents, including references to victims of past tragedies.

Rats? Do you see them? Complete articles, Universe, Center, Medellín, authors.

29 Dec 2015  |  www.universocentro.com
A controversy arose over the Chinese restaurant Gran Fogón in Medellín after photos circulated online showing bacon on a terrace being approached by rodents. The Secretaría de Salud inspected the restaurant and found no evidence of bad practices or health risks, stating that the rodents were roof rats without access to the interior. Despite this, public concern persisted due to the images. Felipe Wu, a family member, explained traditional Cantonese food preservation methods and assured that the contaminated food was discarded. The Wu family, who run the restaurant, are worried about the decline in customers. The Secretaría de Salud has previously worked to align Chinese restaurants with local health standards, and the Gran Fogón has a favorable/conditional sanitary rating. The Wu family's distress recalls the hardships faced by Chinese immigrants historically.

Maria Isabel Naranjo, Portrait with Photographers, The Book of Parks, Medellín and its Center, Secretary of Culture Citizen Medellín, Universe Center

29 Dec 2015  |  www.universocentro.com
The article recounts the history and experiences of street photographers in Medellín, Colombia, focusing on a group that has been working around the Plaza de las Esculturas since its inauguration in December 2000. It details their interactions with the public, the changes in their profession over time, and their personal stories, including those of the photographers who have passed away. The narrative also touches on the photographers' pride in their work, their struggles with public space officials, and the impact of technological advancements on their trade. The Museo de Antioquia plays a role in their story, having featured them in a publication and supported their presence in the plaza.

The Days Without Fear

29 Dec 2015  |  www.universocentro.com
Maria Isabel Naranjo's article 'The Days Without Fear' tells the story of José Joaquín Calle Ramírez, a man whose life reflects the history of the Villatina neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia. The area, home to displaced peasants due to bipartisan violence, has seen over 137,000 people settle in 35 neighborhoods. Villatina, built on unstable land, has experienced tragedy, including a landslide in 1987 that killed over 500 people. Joaquín, a survivor of the disaster, later became involved with the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) but has since turned to social work, helping to recover green spaces and promote community development. His efforts have been recognized by local media, and he continues to work towards the betterment of his community, despite the region's violent past and ongoing challenges.

Reporter Without a Face

18 Dec 2013  |  www.universocentro.com
Maria Isabel Naranjo interviews Fabio Castillo, a renowned investigative journalist known for his work against drug trafficking in Colombia. Castillo recalls his career at El Espectador, his confrontations with narcotraffickers, and his subsequent exile due to threats on his life. He details his undercover life, the challenges of publishing his book 'Los jinetes de la cocaína', and his eventual return to Colombia. Castillo's commitment to journalism and truth is highlighted, despite the risks and personal sacrifices involved.

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