While Medellin Mayor Anibal Gaviria has been praising the city’s dropping homicide rate, street robberies in Colombia’s second largest city have gone up more than 300% since the burgomaster was elected in 2011.
According to a report by Medellin Como Vamos, street robberies went from 1,894 in 2011 to 7,719 last year, and this is not the only security indicator that has drastically worsened.
Gaviria has long stressed his administration’s success in violent crime reduction based on the city’s homicide rate that has gone from 69.7 in 2011 to 27% last year.
Medellin’s homicide rate
However, many have attributed this drop in homicides not to an efficient security policy, but a non-aggression pact between the city’s main crime syndicate, the Oficina de Envigado, and neo-paramilitary group Los Urabeños.
Meanwhile, the city’s authorities have refused to release numbers on street crime and extortion that both have shown opposite indicators of public security in the city.
According to Como Vamos, which measures quality of life in a number of Colombian cities, both these indicators have increased dramatically.
While street robberies went up more than 300%, the number of reported home invasions went up a staggering 460% from 245 in 2011 to 1374 last year.
A violent crime indicator that dropped in par with homicides is that of car jackings where authorities registered a 41% drop between 2011 and 2014.
Robberies, car jackings and home invasions in Medellin
Reported extortions in Medellin
According to Gaviria, the figures released by Medellin Como Vamos “do not reflect the context of the advances in terms of security,” according to local newspaper El Colombiano.
“What I want is look at the complete picture, because we have been combating crime. We do not deny that we have to combat street robberies, home invasions and crimes related to drug trafficking and drug dealing,” the mayor told the paper.
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