The Colombian Caribbean town of San Cristobal has not recorded a single violent death since 2004, making it one of the most peaceful municipalities in the country.
San Cristobal, located on the Atlantic coast in the northern department of Bolivar, has not registered a single violent death in the last six years. Residents put this down to their tolerant mentality and desire to look out for one another.
The town’s mayor, Adalberto Casti, stated in an interview with Caracol that “our town is practically one big family … everyone treats each other like a relative, like a cousin,” and highlighted how rare it was to witness a brawl in San Cristobal, due to people’s preference for solving disputes through dialogue instead of fights.
The department of Bolivar is currently suffering some of the country’s worst conflict, with re-emergent paramilitaries controlling much of the region and wrecking havoc in rural areas.
According to Caracol there is a firm police presence throughout the town, but policemen are considered to be advisors and friends rather than oppressors.
San Cristobal’s economy is based predominantly on fishing and agriculture, and local residents put their peaceful nature down to a healthy diet of fresh fish and breadfruit.