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Cristian Alarcón (La Unión, Chile, 1970) is the author of Cuando me muera quiero que me toquen cumbia (2003), for which he received the Samuel Chavkin prize for journalistic integrity, awarded by NACLA (the North American Congress on Latin America). He wrote about violence, armed conflict, and tensions for the newspaper Página 12 for ten years; he then continued to publish in the magazines TXT, GatopardoRolling Stone, Soho, and Diario Crítica in Argentina. He teaches at the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo (FNPI), which was founded by Gabriel García Márquez, where he runs a workshop on writing crónicas, and is the academic director of the project “The drug traffic, the city, and violence in Latin America” for the FNPI and the Open Society Institute; he also a graduate of and professor at the faculty of Journalism and Communication at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata. Alarcón is the editor of the book Jonatan no tiene tatuajes: crónicas de jóvenes pandilleros de Centroamérica (2009) and edits the blog aguilashumanas.blogspot.com. His most recent book is Si me querés, quereme transa (2010).

These four crónicas of Alarcón’s visits to Medellín were originally published in the magazine Debate.