Murders in Medellín are up more than 27 percent since the extradition to the United States of 14 top paramilitary chiefs last May, as middle managers battle for power and control of illicit trades.
Echoing a national trend, displacement of residents of the city is also on the rise. By the end of July 863 people had been displaced, compared to 1069 in all of 2007, according to the city’s Ombudsmun, reported El Colombiano.
Lines of command have been broken in the violence, as the rank-and-file members of the paramilitaries saw the extradition of the 14 top ex-leaders as an opportunity to gain power, say authorities, reported Caracol Radio.
However, captures and deaths of some leaders have begun to reduce the crime in Medellín, say authorities.
Populations have also been displaced in areas around the city, including Santa Elena, Altavista and San Antonio de Prado.