Violent crime, attributed to clashes between rival gangs, continues to increase in Medellín. According to government statistics, as of Tuesday, July 3, there had been at least 3328 homicides recorded in the city this year, almost 30 percent more than what was reported in the same time period in 2017. In response to recent inter-gang violence, multiple police operations were conducted in the Comuna 13 area of Medellín between Sunday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 4. However, residents have claimed that police officers abused innocent civilians during these operations and arbitrarily searched homes in the Independencias 1 neighborhood. Increased security measures and a heightened police presence are anticipated in Medellín in the coming weeks.
Crime continues to be a major problem in Colombia due largely to illicit activities carried out by paramilitary crime organizations and local gangs. These groups are involved in a variety of illegal activities, including drug trafficking, smuggling, illegal mining, extortion, and assassinations. However, according to official statistics, murders, kidnappings, and extortion attempts all declined in 2017. Robberies and other street crimes continue to present major public security concerns for police nationwide.
Individuals in Medellín are advised to remain vigilant (e.g. maintain a low profile, be particularly vigilant at night, be aware that criminals may be armed, etc.) and to report suspicious behavior to the relevant authorities. Do not attempt to resist would-be attackers or thieves; report attacks or robberies to the police.
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