Medellín, lecciones de un cambio en seguridad ciudadana

Translated title of the contribution: Medellín, lessons of a change in citizen security

Juan Carlos Ruiz Vásquez, Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens, Juan David Otálora Sechague, Laura Nathalia Cortés Russo, Manuel Felipe Rodríguez Peláez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medellín was considered the most violent city in the world during the 1990s with a homicide rate of over 370 per 100 000 inhabitants. In the last three decades, murders in the city have decreased by 90 %. This transformation has been celebrated internationally as an example of successful local governance of urban centres suffering from high crime rates. However, this article argues that this recovery - labelled by some as a “miracle” - was not only the product of successful local government actions, but also the result of two other factors: first, the Colombian state’s policy at the national level to strengthen its security apparatus and dismantle illegal armed groups; and second, the informal agreements between the authorities and local gangs, as well as the latter’s decision to avoid violent confrontations in order to facilitate the extraction of their illegal rents.

Translated title of the contributionMedellín, lessons of a change in citizen security
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)47-64
Number of pages18
JournalRevista Criminalidad
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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