Some 170 members of gangs in the north of Medellin agree to help city authorities to diminish the violence that cost 1,600 lives so far this year.
The alleged gang members from the northern Comuna 1 neighborhood handed in 18 firearms and a grenade in a highly publicized ceremony organized by the city.
The young men signed a “no violence, no aggression” agreement and became “peace managers” to help city authorities to curb violence that has disturbed public life in Comuna 1, 3, 4 and 13 since mid 2008.
One of the demobilized men told local newspaper El Colombiano that he hopes to take advantage of state benefits like education and work as promised by the Mayor’s Office.
Recent official statistics raised the number of murder victims to 1,600. Some 2,500 locals were forced to leave their homes because of the violence or threats.