Fighting between rival gangs has escalated in the port city of Buenaventura (Valle de Cauca department) in recent weeks. According to local officials, at least ten people have been killed in the past three weeks as of Thursday, November 15. Major clashes broke out on November 13, which left four people dead. Shootings have been reported in the 3, 9, 11, and 12 communes of the city. All schools in Buenaventura canceled classes November 15-16 due to the shootings.
Buenaventura suffers from poor socioeconomic conditions and social services, compounded by a lack of decent health care and education, inequality, and poverty. Additionally, crime rates are relatively high due to the presence of gangs involved in drug trafficking in areas abandoned by the FARC.
Individuals in Buenaventura are advised to monitor the situation.
Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, the ELN guerrilla group, and ex-FARC dissidents - some Western governments advise against travel to various regions, most notably the country’s border areas.
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