The total number of homicides in Medellin went down 24.4% in 2012, even though the number of murders crept up 57% during the year, from a January low, according to official statistics.
According to numbers by the local coroner’s office, a total of 1,253 people were killed last year. The year before, 1,657 people were murdered.
The city has shown a sharp decline in homicides since 2010 when a war between factions of local criminal syndicate Oficina de Envigado came to an end.
FACT SHEET: Medellin violence statistics
Medellin’s decline in violence hit its lowest point in January last year. Since then, the monthly numbers have showed a steady increase in homicides throughout 2012.
According to the official figures, homicides have gone up 57.3% since mayor Anibal Gaviria took office on January 1, 2012. However, this violence stabilized after September when monthly homicide figures began to drop again.
PROFILE: Anibal Gaviria
The most violent neighborhoods of the city in terms of homicides remain the western Comuna 13 (177 homicides) and the downtown area (150 homicides).
Against the local trend, homicides went up in the northeastern Popular and Santa Cruz districts and Laureles in the west of the city.
The drop in homicides was dampened by a nation-wide alarming 76% increase in disappearances. In Medellin, more than 600 people disappeared in 2012.