Medellin police on Sunday found the dismembered bodies of two boys in three plastic bags in the east of the city, further exposing the ongoing terror imposed on the locals and the apparent inability of local law enforcement to curb gang violence.
The discovery of the 15-year-old boys, who had been kidnapped by armed men the night before, followed a series of violent events that have erupted after months of tense calm in Medellin’s Comuna 8.
On September 10, police had to take over public transport to parts of the neighborhood after the murder of a bus driver spurred a spontaneous strike among colleagues who refused to enter the neighborhood.
Only days later, one of the local gang members accused by locals of charging the extortion fee to buses was assassinated, after which locals were told that “things were going to get hot” and that the local gang “would not take responsibility for anyone on the street after 8PM.”
Medellin police have had trouble keeping a lid on the violence that began earlier this year as one of the bigger gangs in the Comuna 8 attempted to separate itself from the Oficina de Envigado, Medellin’s leading crime syndicate.
While the local government claims ongoing improvements in the city’s violence statistics, several residents from different parts of the comuna told Colombia Reports they have been living in constant fear over the possible outbreak of a new gang war and ongoing threats by local gangs since then.
Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria in June promised an increase in police while the national government temporarily deployed the military to assist local police. According to one of the residents however, she hasn’t seen one policeman in her neighborhood in two weeks.