Murder on the rise in Antioquia’s Northeast

Between January 16th and October 16th of this year, the Personería (People’s Defender) in Segovia, Antioquia has counted 143 people murdered. Unfortunately, the actual number of victims is higher considering that at least ten more people have been killed over the past few weeks. Remedios has a similar situation with 114 murders reported this year and 250 cases of forced displacement while in El Bagre there have been 38 murders, 17 of them in just the past month.

While numbers released by local authorities in each town differ slightly from the ones revealed by Antioquia’s Police Department, the truth remains that murder and extortion have grown at an alarming rate in these communities. Police intelligence agents believe problems in the region are the result of open confrontations between Farc, the Eln, and criminal gangs like los Urabeños and Heroes del Nordeste.

El Bagre’s ombudsman, Jose Gabriel Navarro, explained that police presence was increased in the area but “you can’t tell”; he expressed his disapproval of the “indolent and restrained actions of the Armed Forces because they are not doing what they are supposed to do.”

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