The director of Colombia’s National Police has announced 200 policemen will be sent to the southwestern city of Cali to strengthen security after a massacre left eight people dead last Friday, according to El Pais newspaper.
Police chief Radolfo Palomonio said that the strengthening of police investigation units and the additional police officers will be some of the measures taken to “continue dismantling the criminal structures” thought responsible for last week’s killings. Cali currently has about 5,450 police officers.
At least one commander of the neo-paramilitary drug-trafficking group Los Urabeños was among the victims of the execution-style killings which have worried Cali residents after the recent successes in reducing murders.
Authorities have already upped security in the Santa Maria zone of Cali in which the killings took place, increasing the number of security checkpoints and police presence in the streets.
For his part, Cali’s mayor, Javier Pachon, tried to soothe fears that the city could return to previous levels of violence.
“We have decreased the murder rate by almost 30%. It is true that the recent days have been difficult, but we cannot compare criminality with data from the last week,” he said.