Medellin‘s new mayor said Monday that security is the biggest challenge faced by the city, along with the protection of human life, employment development and the fight against corruption.
In an interview with Radio W Medellin mayor Anival Gaviria, who was sworn in on Sunday, stated that “the issues raised in the inaugural speech are basically the challenges faced by the city, which we will face together with the governor of Antioquia. The protection of life, the whole issue of security and coexistence, the achievement of a more equal society, and the fight against inequality in Colombia, which will only be achieved with competitiveness and employment opportunities.”
Medellin has been plagued by gang violence since the demobilization of paramilitary organization the AUC. Several nationally operated neo-paramilitary and drug trafficking groups are patronizing urban gangs that control the local drugs market and profitable extortion schemes.
Reiterating that security will be the main priority of the new administration, Gaviria announced the creation of the Secretary of Security, an initiative similar to that proposed by Bogota`s new Mayor Gustavo Petro, also inaugurated on Sunday.
According to the Gaviria; “Our top priority is the whole issue of security with firm authority, but attached to the law and to human rights.”
The mayor added that “this will only be achieved with social investment, health and opportunities for young people, who are a target group on the margins of the law.”
Gaviria succeeds now-ex Mayor Alonso Salazar, and will hold office until January 1, 2014.