Ciudad Barranquilla

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Ciudad Barranquilla
Type City-state

Ciudad Barranquilla, also known as Banana City, is a huge fictional city covering much of Central America in the Judge Dredd comic book series. Its name comes from the real city of Barranquilla in Colombia, although it is generally placed around the Buenos Aires city in Argentina.[citation needed] Its nickname is a play on the term banana republic.

Description[edit]

Like Mega-City One, Barranquilla suffers from very high population density. Unlike Mega-City One and most of its contemporaries, most of its City Blocks are rather old-fashioned and do not show the same futuristic design, due to Ciudad's high level of financial inequality - most of its population live in poverty, while the elite few live in extravagance. Much of Baranquilla's economy comes from trade with other Megacities. Much of the organised crime comes from the drug-dealing narco-gang cartels, who operate under Judicial license. Barranquilla is described as close to radioactive desert, and surviving jungles - themselves home to Zancudo and the Mayan city Mictlan (a refuge for criminals & fugitives).

The depiction of the city seemingly reflects the North America and European view of current-day South America, and the indigenous characters sport a very high proportion of cheesy, stereotyped accents. The resident Judges view (correctly) that Mega-City One looks down on them as corrupt and incompetent.

Law[edit]

Ciudad Barranquilla is run by a Judge system, with harsh laws enforced by figures who are a combination of judge, jury and police officer. Judicial corruption in Barranquilla is amongst the worst on Earth, with the Judges openly using brutality, taking bribes and generally being more like gangsters in uniform than law enforcers. The Justice Department is openly seen as a way of getting your hands on "the benefits" of status, and in 2110 only those with money or born into judicial families could become judges. Traditionally, all those executed by the Judges were dumped in the mass graveyard Huerto dos Huesos - the Bone Orchard - with its open nature serving as a form of intimidation. The Supreme Judge, equivalent of the Chief Judge, extorts many companies and tourist attractions in order to finance himself, as well as half of the housing; Judges will assault or arrest anyone who can't pay the rent.

Due to this system, there have been a substantial number of coups among the Supreme Judge. The current ruler is Cholo, having helped Mega-City One depose his father, former Supreme Judge Santiago Sangrenegra. On the surface, the new regime is far less corrupt and has assistance from international peacekeepers in restoring stability.

A Baranquilla Judge, Corza, was part of the international team chosen to stop Judgement Day, but he defected to Sabbat to save himself.

Multiple fugitives from MC-1 have fled to Barranquilla. The insane rogue Judge Kurten was able to buy his way into working as a Judge there. PJ Maybe, the notorious serial killer, was able to live free in Ciudad for some years. During this time the Judges turned a blind eye to his murders and even assisted in covering his tracks when Dredd finally learned he was still alive.

While the Judges wore colourful uniforms in their first appearance (2110 AD), they would later wear black-and-bronze versions. The first shown Supreme Judge, Batista, wore a gaudy golden bird-headed costume, but this was dropped by later Supremes.

Zancudo/Ant Wars[edit]

In the remaining Amazonian jungle near Baranquilla, a race of giant ants - the Old Ones - have existed since 1978. As chronicled in the 2000AD 1978 strip Ant Wars, they were mutated into giant form and increased intelligence (which borders of sentience) by a new form of gas weaponry. They conquered their way across Central America, devastating an entire city early in their campaign, before finally being destroyed. Some survived and remained in hiding in the jungles, eventually gaining worshippers in the form of one of the local tribes. Meanwhile, a race of sentient giant mosquitos - the Zancudo - were also created. By 2127, they had a city in old Mayan ruins and enslaved the nearby human tribes as a food source & labour. The Old Ones and the Zancudo were at war until the arrival of two Judges, Sofia and Xavi, who found themselves a pawn in the war as they possessed the ability to cure the Blight, a disease the mosquitos and their slaves were suffering form. The Judges both died but took the Zancudo with them in a nuclear detonation. In true B-movie tradition, a few of the larvae survived...

With the Zancudo gone, the Old Ones now have supremacy over the jungle. What they will do now is unknown.

Regime Change[edit]

Sangrenegra was never able to fully consolidate his grip on power after his coup, leading to a massive civil unrest and open warfare between different Judge factions that threatened to destroy the whole city. Sino-Cit was supporting the current regime with intent of gaining a foothold in South America; East-Meg Two was covertly funding part of the coup to secure regime change that would give them a foothold, with Sangrenegra's chief lieutenant and illegitimate son Cholo secretly working with them. Mega-City One, secretly informed of these acts by a Sov defector, formed and led an international peacekeeping mission - Mega-City would provide the bulk of the military units, led by Judge Dredd, while Brit-Cit and Euro-Cit provided most of the medical & technical personnel.

The ulterior motive for Mega-City One, however, was to ensure there would be a regime change that would fall in their favour. Tek and Psi Divisions deliberately excavated the remains of fourteen Mega-City citizens murdered by Barranquilla Judicial forces at the Bone Orchard, giving Dredd an excuse to launch a punitive attack on Sangrenegra and execute him for murder without violating the peacekeeping remit. Having convinced Cholo to assist in this, Mega-City One rewarded him the role of Supreme Judge, with the intention of him serving as their puppet ruler. It has been made quite clear that they will remove him if he does not follow Mega-City 'advice'.

See also[edit]