Cali, Colombia’s third largest city, on Friday banned guns and knives in most of its municipal territory. The Christmas ban will be in place until the end of January.
The ban will be upheld in the over half of the city’s territory, with the exception of the central districts 8,9 and 10, 11, and the districts 17 and 19 in the southwest of the city.
Initially, Mayor Rodrigo Guerrero had called for a ban in the entirety of the city, but the Army’s 3rd Brigade — which has the last word over bans like this — decided to only impose the ban in certain parts of the city.
The army’s refusal to impose a full ban, spurred questions in the city council and a visibly disappointed response from the mayor, the city ombudsman and the arch bishop, who had been a strong supporter of the ban.
“It’s sad to see this classist and elitist attitude of the military, caring more about economic interests than life,” Archbishop Dario de Jesus Monsalve told local newspaper El Pais.
The army did agree to a full ban for the duration of Cali’s annual festival, the Feria de Cali, the mayor told the newspaper.
“We accomplished that during the Feria de Cali the weapons restriction is in the entire city. I would’ve preferred that during December the restriction would cover all districts, but we’re making progress,” said Guerrero.
Cali is one of Colombia’s most violent cities that’s hard difficulties curbing crime rates. While other cities like Bogota and Medellin knew to lower homicide rates over the past years, that of Cali has steadily gone up.
MORE: Cali Crime Statistics
Cali’s Partial Gun Ban
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