Several balconies on abandoned homes in Cartagena’s historic center have recently collapsed, creating fear in tourists and residents.
Tourists walk Cartagena’s streets in fear. Some do not dare walk under the balconies.
“The beauty of coming to Cartagena, was seen walking the streets and balconies. Going for a stroll downtown was the best way to enjoy the city. Now walking has become a real threat that puts everyone in doubt…you must be alert for every step and keep your eyes wide open, ” said Giovanny Gomez, a Colombian tourist who vacations in Cartagena.
A Cartagena local returned from dinner on Saturday night to find his car covered with debris from his dilapidated balcony. Margoth Hernandez told El Heraldo that “this happened to [him] as the result of the the district administration’s negligence and the lack of responsibility to go to the owners of buildings that are falling apart downtown.”
But Cartagena’s Institute of Heritage and Culture (IPCC) claims they sent warnings to the hundreds of homeowners with building code violations. Only 20 residents committed to repairing their homes.
According to the IPCC, a total of 320 properties are in an “advanced state of deterioration.”