Medellin’s mayor Anibal Gaviria Correa said Monday that homicides in Colombia’s second-largest city dropped a “historic” 37% in the first six months of 2012.
“Only on two occasions in our city’s history, including this, have [we] seen such a notable reduction,” said mayor Anibal Gaviria at an event in the Medellin suburb of Itagui.
During the first six months of 2012, 614 homicides were registered, compared to 1,003 homicides during the same time last year, Gaivira said.
The mayor thanked Colombia’s national government for “the quick help” given in response to the recent security situation in the troubled Comuna 8 and Comuna 13.
“This [reduction] has succeeded thanks to teamwork between the state and the police. We extend our gratitude to them and we promise to continue helping in this work,” the mayor continued.
The mayor also announced the arrival of new policemen to increase security for Medellin’s annual Flower Festival, due to take place from August 3 to 15.
In 2011, Medellin had a murder rate of 60.93 per 100,000 inhabitants, almost twice as high as Colombia’s national average.
While the city witnessed a reduction in homicides between 2011 and 2010, this was accompanied by some 11,000 forced displacements and over 750 disappearances, much of which can be attributed to ongoing gang wars.