Criminal gangs active in the Medellín neighborhoods of Comuna 16 (Belén) and Altavista reportedly agreed to a ceasefire on July 11. Gangs included in the agreement include Los Pajaros, Los Chivos, La Mano de Dios, Los Paracos, and Belén San Bernardo. These gangs have been entangled in turf wars in these sectors of the city. Violence and murder rates in these areas have reportedly diminished since the ceasefire came into effect.
Some observers believe that these gangs have been hard hit by recent police offensives and entered into the ceasefire to be able to take the time to reconsolidate their organizations.
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.
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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