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Thursday, 16 June 2011

644 homicides committed in Bogota between January and May 2011, almost 36% of them have been gang-related, El Tiempo reported Monday.

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Security experts say that these gang-related murders typically regard territorial disputes, retaliations and the settling of scores, as well as fighting over micro-trafficking and finance.

Olga Lucia Velasquez, the secretary of government, cited the fact that around 32% of the victims this year were former convicts, which she said exemplified "the lack of more effective rehabilitation programmes inside the prisons."

Bogota Metropolitan Police have thus far caught 286 alleged murderers, although the authorities noted that solving murders of retaliation has become more complicated by the fact that the perpetrators are increasingly recruited from other regions.

The most dangerous times to be in Bogota would appear to be on the weekends between 6PM and 6AM, as some 68% of murders occur between these hours on either Saturday or Sunday, whereas the most victimized age group are the 20% of those killed who are betwen 25 and 29 years old.

The most dangerous areas, meanwhile, in terms of homicide, are the neighborhoods of Kennedy and Ciudad Bolivar, which have witnessed 98 and 100 murders respectively in the first five months of 2011.

While authorities highlighted the high prevalence of alcohol and drugs among both the victims and perpetrators, Caracol Radio also reported that 64% of murders are committed by someone known to the victims, either family, friend or a significant other.

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