Medellin‘s Coroner’s Office and Ombudsman confirmed claims by the city’s mayor that homicides in the city saw a significant drop in September.
According to the most recent report by the Coroner’s Office, the first nine months of 2010 did see a 4.2% rise in homicides compared to last year, but there was a decrease in murder in the months of July (-12%), August (-6%) and September (-28%) compared to the same months in 2009.
The report says 1,449 people were murdered in Medellin from January until September.
The released numbers by both the Mayor’s Office, the Ombudsman and the Coroner’s Office show a huge difference compared to the first three months of this year, when homicides were going up a staggering 50% compared to 2009.
The Ombudsman’s Office earlier this month said to be satisfied about the consecutive drop in homicides and partly attributes the drop in homicides to “effective action of the authorities in several areas in the city, where they succeeded in neutralizing several activities by illegal armed groups.”
However, the Ombudsman also says that the drop in homicides can be attributed to the “possible victory of the structure of (neo-paramilitary drug lord) Sebastian over the armed groups belonging to that of (neo-paramilitary drug lord) Valenciano” in several sectors of the city where the two capos are disputing territory.
While the homicide rate dropped in the last three months, the figures of the first nine months of the year show an alarming 54.3% rise in murders of children between 11 and 17.
Medellin has been combating a murder rate that spiraled out of control after the extradition of demobilized AUC chief “Don Berna” caused a war between the lower ranked paramilitary commanders of the paramilitary structure of “the Office of Envigado.”