Medellín, una ciudad fallida

147
La Comuna 13 de Medellín, en la última semana, ha sido de nuevo escenario de crímenes perpetrados por grupos armados y paramilitares que, según las autoridades, se disputan el territorio.

La inseguridad, la movilidad y la contaminación ambiental, representan el mayor fracaso de las últimas administraciones que han pasado por Medellín

Gonzalo Álvarez Henao*

Los estudiosos del urbanismo han dicho que se requieren siglos de un proceso lento y continuo, para que un pequeño pueblo se convierta en ciudad, un todo socio espacial orgánico y hasta cierto punto coherente. Pero en Medellín, como en el resto de las urbes del país, ocurrió lo contrario a esta máxima, su crecimiento fue brusco, desordenado y anárquico.

De Medellín se puede decir que sufrió una hinchazón; de los 59.815 habitantes que tenía en 1905, pasó a 358.189 en 1951. Medellín ese año era todavía un pequeño pueblo. Pero a partir de esta fecha su crecimiento fue abrupto, resultado que se puede atribuir a tres factores predominantes: uno, a la violencia política y económica que expulsó a las personas del campo a las metrópolis; dos, no menos importante que el anterior fue el desarrollo industrial en las décadas de 1950, 1960; y tres, las pocas posibilidades que tenían los jóvenes del campo, para estudiar y trabajar.

Para el año 1970, Medellín contaba con más de un millón de habitantes. De 1970 a 2017 el salto fue vertiginoso llegando a 2.508.452 habitantes, muchos de ellos ubicados en las laderas marginales.

Hacinamiento y violencia

Los miopes funcionarios públicos y las autoridades en general, buscan el ahogado río arriba ¿Cómo no va a existir violencia en Medellín con el grado de hacinamiento en que vive buena parte de la población? La recomendación de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) es que como mínimo se destinen 10 metros cuadrados de zonas verdes por habitante, y en Medellín no se llega a los dos metros cuadrados por cada uno. En la comuna más conflictiva de Medellín, la 13, las viviendas están una sobre otra.

El crecimiento urbanístico exponencial de Medellín actualmente obedece a que la historia tristemente se repite, pero con mayor crueldad. Colombia es un país de ciudades y todas ellas llevan el sello de la injusticia social y la desigualdad. La violencia política desatada con posterioridad al asesinato de Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, empujó a los campesinos a los centros urbanos, demandando vivienda, educación, empleo, salud y servicios públicos, porque la infraestructura existente resultó insuficiente para satisfacer la necesidad de estos servicios, y en el caso de Medellín se empezó a ver lo que en su momento se denominó cinturones de miseria, pero no en la periferia como ocurre hoy, sino en sectores más céntricos de la ciudad.

Hoy, cuando se analizan los conflictos urbanos por parte de los gobernantes y los medios de comunicación, estos lo explican de mil maneras, cuidándose de no atribuirlo a la nueva versión de la violencia política ejercida en algunos casos por el estado y las estructuras armadas. Estamos hablando de más de siete millones de desplazados internos, que como en el caso de Medellín, muchos de ellos están ocupando las laderas con la consecuente deforestación.

Falla el modelo económico

Las viviendas que se construyen son precarias, sin acueducto ni alcantarillado. Se calcula que en Medellín más de 40 mil familias no tienen agua potable, ni redes del alcantarillado, y lo que resulta más insólito, debido a esto y a la falta de cobertura de las Empresas Públicas de Medellín, contaminan todas las quebradas de la ciudad.

Tres son las causas que explican el grave deterioro en la calidad de vida de los habitantes de Medellín; el modelo económico neoliberal, la corrupción administrativa y la coexistencia de dos poderes en una misma unidad geográfica. El neoliberalismo, por ejemplo, no solo es un depredador de la naturaleza y el medio ambiente, sino que como todo lo convierte en dinero, no permite una planeación ordenada del desarrollo urbanístico de la ciudad, dado que orienta su crecimiento en vehículos, edificios, vidrios y cemento, alejándola en cierta medida de toda cultura urbana. El neoliberalismo no es sustentable, económica, ecológica y culturalmente.

Copamiento de las comunas

Hablar de otro poder en Medellín no es un acto irresponsable o salido de toda lógica, sino que tiene su origen en la alcaldía de Sergio Fajardo Valderrama. Bajo su administración, que se inició en el año 2004, se emprendió un proceso de copamiento de las comunas por parte de las estructuras armadas. Era tan notoria esta presencia y el control de toda la vida política, económica y de las relaciones ciudadanas que la sabiduría popular acuñó la frase de la Donbernabilidad, es decir que Fajardo firmaba los decretos y Don Berna gobernaba.

Estas estructuras armadas que no son simples delincuentes, son un factor real de poder que cumple muchas de las funciones que no presta o lo hace de manera deficiente el Estado. Cobran tributos, venden seguridad a los comerciantes, cumplen el papel de comisarías de familia, inspección de policía, jueces de paz y civiles.

Por ejemplo, cuando un inquilino no paga el arriendo, lo conminan a que entregue la vivienda o que compre el ataúd. El control territorial de estas estructuras armadas, es reconocido por las mismas autoridades cuando entran a explicar algunos homicidios, los que atribuyen a disputas territoriales. Si hay reyertas territoriales y otros se las quieren arrebatar es porque tienen control territorial, a nadie le pelean lo que no tiene.

* Presidente del Movimiento Cívico de Medellín y el Área Metropolitana. 

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