According to the Mayor’s Office there were 141 homicides in the period, compared to 196 in the first 25 days of 2010.
The report credits the cooperation of inter-city agencies for the decline in murders.
Others say the reason for the drop in murder rate is due to “Sebastian,” the leader of one faction of the neo-paramilitary group “Oficina de Envigado,” gaining control over territory formerly belonging to rival gang head Valenciano.
In an interview with Colombia Reports a Mayor’s Office representative did not deny that this could be a factor in reduced murder rates in some neighborhoods, but said that the majority of areas in the city still suffer from violent clashes between gangs. According to the representative, no single boss has controlled Medellin’s underworld since paramilitary leader “Don Berna,” who was extradited to the U.S. in 2008.
The representative attributes the declined murder rate in the main to the success of the program, “Medellin mas Seguros Juntos,” adopted in 2009. The program aims to strengthen the security forces, provide opportunities for young males who are lured into gang life, and establish dialogue between city officials and the community over security and infrastructure issues.
The Mayor’s Office representative said that the murder statistics for both 2010 and 2011 were counted from the first of the month to the 25 for an unknown reason and that this is common practice.