Medellin‘s murder rate increased by 54.8% in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period the previous year, with 503 reported homicides, according to a report released Monday by Colombian human rights organization Personalidad de Medellin, reports El Tiempo.
The report also showed that the number of deaths of minors in Medellin’s gang warfare more than doubled in first three months of 2010 from the same period the previous year, from 21 to 50.
More children are being killed in Medellin as impressionable young people become increasingly involved in the city’s gangs, according to Personalidad de Medellin.
“Illegal armed groups are made up more and more by children and adolescents, as they are more easily influenced and are cheaper,” said the report.
The majority of murders were caused by gangs fighting for territorial control.
“There is specific concern about the serious situation of violence caused by clashes between armed groups, without consideration of time of day or proximity to the civilian population,” the report noted.
The report claimed that the actions taken by Medellin Mayor Alonso Salazar and the Colombian government “had not led to the desired results.”
The organization called for a greater effort from the security forces combined with stronger municipality leadership to help fight the growing problem.