The Manuela Beltrán neighborhood in eastern Cali has reportedly seen an increase in gang-related violence in recent weeks, causing local residents to flee the area. Local leaders have appealed to the city government to increase security and provide greater opportunity for the area’s disaffected youth. Reports say the area of 36,000 residents is only patrolled by ten police officers at a time, leaving large swaths open for gang activity.
Numerous armed groups are active in the country. Paramilitary crime organizations (BACRIM) have replaced leftist guerrilla groups such as the now-demobilized FARC as the most serious armed threat; these groups are involved in a variety of illicit activities, including drug-trafficking, smuggling, illegal mining, extortion, and assassinations. Additionally, local gangs continue to pose a threat to individual communities nationwide, including in Cali.
Individuals should exercise caution at all times in and around the Manuela Beltrán neighborhood of Cali.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, many Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country - particularly rural zones - with the notable exceptions of the northern Caribbean regions and central areas (including Bogotá).