In late December, Medellin made international news when it cranked up a massive public escalator that benefits tens of thousands of people who live in the cliff-hugging Comuna 13 neighborhood. The daily walk up to La 13 is the equivalent of hiking up 23 floors, according to El Espectador.
Now, some in the community are complaining that local gangs are muscling in on the project and charging up to 5,000 pesos (about $2.50) to use the escalator. According to El Tiempo, the same gangs that shakedown bus drivers are the ones behind the escalator scam.
Authorities say they are investigating and have stepped up security along the escalator. (Pic courtesy Medellin mayor's office.)