Bogota gun ban results in homicide drop

Bogota’s mayor has applauded the city’s gun ban after street murders with weapons fell 18% in the last three months.

The mayor’s office reported homicides using weapons had dropped to 194 from February to April, down 44 from the same period in 2011. The total homicide rate also fell during the same period by 16%.

The figures “reaffirm the purpose” of Bogota’s ban on guns, launched in February for three months, and extended on Monday for another three-month period, a statement said.

The mayor’s office incorrectly reported that the figure for murder with weapons represented a 31% drop.

Mayor Gustavo Petra stressed that gun crime had the largest decrease of 24%, from 78 cases during a three-month period last year to 59 in 2012.

“The strategy of the mayor will no doubt help us further lower the murder rate,” Bogota’s Metropolitan Police commander Luis Eduardo Martinez said, according to the statement.

He added that measures to increase street lighting, build kindergartens and stem alcohol sales in Bogota’s most dangerous neighborhoods are likely to “improve safety and the perception of safety in the city.”

The data is based on statistics from the National Institute of Legal Medicine, Bogota Metropolitan Police and the the Prosecutor General’s Office.

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