COLOMBIA: Medellm's Red Lights

Medellin, in northwest Colombia, is a mountain-ringed city of church bells, textile factories and legalized prostitution. Of its 362,000 residents, some 8,000 women practice the world's oldest profession. The city lacks U.S.-style restaurants, ballrooms and respectable bars, and in the evenings its downtown streets are deserted. But the red-light zones on Medellin's outskirts are lively with lights, music, rum and loose women.

Several months ago, the city government decided that the bordellos, scattered across six suburban boroughs, were blocking the development of new residential areas. In September, Secretary of Government Alfonso...

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