Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Monday expressed concerns over the high crime rate in Medellin and announced that he will introduce a weekly evaluation of the situation.
According to Colombian media, the President stated that its is contradictory that 11 months after it was made illegal to carry weapons in the city, Medellin is suffering an increasing homicide rate.
The President also declared that he identified a problem with “extortion on transport, trade and … the cell-phone minute vendors” thoughout the city which he claims to be generated by the proliferation of organized urban gangs.
The weekly evaluation meetings will be attended by various government officials such as the Deputy Justice Minister and the Deputy Defense Minister as well as regional authorities. The next meeting is scheduled for mid-October and will be headed by Brigadier Luis Alberto Perez Alvarado.
October has seen a considerable rise in the homicide rate in Medellin – within the first four days alone there were 53 murders recorded.
The Mayor of the city, Alonso Salazar announced that Medellin is expecting an influx of new security personel by November to assist in the identification and capture of gang members and to ensure the safety of the public in the urban center.