The road begins at the southern edge of town. It slithers its way up into the perfect green mountains surrounding the red brick metropolis of Medellín. Partly gravel, the road is so steep at times that the wheels of our Chevy 4×4 spin out beneath us. As we continue our ascent, I consider the bizarre assortment of people who, over the past 25 years, have made the journey before me: the imprisoned drug lords, mass-murderers and street thugs, the politicians both noble and corrupt, the soccer superstars, beauty queens and prostitutes, the military brigades and would-be fortune hunters, the hermetic monks, religious pilgrims, and, as of recently, the low-income senior citizens.