Colombia’s Most Dangerous Streets

Luis Ángel

Soacha, Colombia. June 2014

District 4 of Soacha, also known as Altos de Cazucá, is one of the most dangerous and neglected sectors bordering Colombia’s capital, Bogota. An estimated 70,000 people live there, including 17,000 displaced people. Drug addition and poverty are rampant, with many cocaine addicts, chirris, wander the streets during the day looking for money to buy a fix, bichas, that costs about 1,000 pesos each, about 50 cents. The streets are ruled by combos, local gangs whose members spend nights dealing drugs and guarding their turf. At night, nearly the only living things on the streets are stray dogs and the chirris, who are not only the main clientele of drug dealers, the ollas, but by necessity end up working for them as their eyes and ears on the streets.