Colombian authorities have reported an drop of 18% in homicides in the four months of 2014.
El Tiempo reports that Colombia’s a total of 4,208 murders in the first four months of 2014, 952 less than the same period last year. With an estimated population of 47.6 million, this figure would mean a projected year-end homicide rate of 26.5 per 100,000 compared to the UN-reported 2012 rate of 30.8.
The country’s second-largest city, Medellin, saw a 40 percent % drop in homicides, while murders fell about 22% in the third-largest city, Cali, compared with the first four months of 2012. The northern cities of Cucuta and Santa Marta also saw notable declines.
The improvements in Colombia’s situation are impressive, but are at best only partially attributable to security force efforts. The massive reduction in Medellin’s homicide rate can be largely chalked up to a 2013 criminal pact in the city, while criminal groups in Cali also signed a similar deal, albeit without encompassing all of the city’s main criminal protagonists.