Medellín imposed emergency security measures as tensions between
illegal armed groups are causing a sharp increase in violence and a
soaring murder rate.
One of the measures is that owners of motorcycles in Medellín are no longer allowed to carry a
Mayor Alonso Salazar Jaramillo announced this following an emergency meeting on Wednesday.
Crime rates have gone up significantly this year, and many murders are committed with the use of motorcycles. This type of vehicle was involved in 183 murders in 2008, and current information shows an increase of 19 percent in the first two months of 2009.
The situation reached a climax last night, with no less than 14 assassinations were reported throughout the city. As such, pressure increased on the local authorities to take immediate measures.
The murders are often performed by two hit-men, one of which controls the bike while the other performs the actual assassination. By no longer allowing the passenger, the mayor hopes to reduce the murder rate.
Another measure that was announced is that commercial establishments in the city are now subject to adjusted opening hours, with exception of some of the most upscale nightlife areas in Medellín like Las Palmas and El Poblado.