Stray bullets have killed 32 people, mostly women and children, in Colombia in 2013, the Conflict Analysis Resource Center (CERAC) said Thursday.

The total number of victims recorded in 2013 was 95; 63 of the cases being non-fatal.

Out of the 95 cases reported; minors account for 47 of the cases.

“Minors’ general inability to protect themselves is thought to be one of the principle factors behind their vulnerability to stray bullets,”  the report stated.

The study indicated that only 14% of  cases are investigated, and that the shooter’s identity will often remain unknown.

Municipalities that recorded the highest rate of stray bullet episodes in 2013 are San Luis, located in the state of Antioquia, Toro in the state of Valle del Cauca, and San Martin situated in the Meta state in the east of the Andean mountains.

The reason for stray bullets are in some cases unknown, but gang fights, contract killing, personal fights, robbery and shots fired into the air are according to the report the main genesis of the incidents.

However, 29% of shooters are involved in criminal gangs or organized crime.

Between January 1990 and November 2013 there has been reported 2962 victims of stray bullets whereas 818 of the cases were fatal.

According to reports of, “the past 23 years, the largest concentration of victims, whether lethal or not, has been in the 10-19 and 20-29 age groups.”

“January is considerably more violent than the bulk of the other months, whose stray bullet incidence remains more or less constant,” according to the report. December being the second most fatal.

Two factors that could affect the increase in stray bullet incidents is the upsurge in alcohol consumption during the months and the celebratory events surrounding christmas and news years.

The number of victims has decreased by 38% from previous year, however the number of female victims increased by 9.2% this year.


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