HomeNewsBriefCali, Colombia to Expand Gang Reintegration Program in 2017
BRIEF

Cali, Colombia to Expand Gang Reintegration Program in 2017

COLOMBIA / 1 FEB 2017 BY ALISTAIR THOMPSON AND MIKE LASUSA EN

Local officials in Cali, Colombia are planning to expand a recently instituted gang reintegration program, raising questions about what type of long-term impact such an initiative could have on the city's security situation. 

In early January, the Cali city government announced that the program is expected to take on a larger scope in 2017. The announcement indicates the government's openness to alternative strategies in solving a gang problem that has made Cali one of Colombia's most violent cities.

The program, dubbed Integral Gang Rehabilitation (Tratamiento Integral de Pandillas - TIP), began late last year with the participation of more than 30 of the 88 recognized local gangs. The government's 2017 projections estimate the addition of 20 more gangs, with the ultimate goal of enrolling more than 1,300 gang members in TIP.

The program is designed to offer the city's "high-risk" youth an alternative to gang life. Participants are offered vocational training, volunteer work opportunities and general reintegration guidance. In one neighborhood, according to a recent report by El País, gang members are working together on a farm that sits on the border of rival gang territories.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Cali's government and law enforcement institutions have praised TIP and advocated for expanding the program, statistics measuring its impact have been inconclusive. Cali recorded a 54 percent decline in gang-related youth homicides in 2016, but the city also witnessed a 39 percent increase in revenge killings last year, according to a separate report from El País. The overall homicide tally dropped six percent.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Security Policy

The TIP program is in its very early stages, making it difficult to judge the relationship between the introduction of the gang rehabilitation initiative and trends in violence in Cali. Nevertheless, there are other examples of similar programs in neighboring countries that could provide insight into the potential impact of Cali's TIP.

For example, Panama saw a decrease in homicides after launching a gang amnesty and rehabilitation program in 2014. According to a report by the BBC, the homicide rate dropped 21 percent from 2014 to 2015. However, as InSight Crime has previously noted, it is difficult to distinguish the impact of the rehabilitation program from the effect of the Panamanian government's increased spending on other violence prevention programs during that time period.

Further north, the government of El Salvador has also proposed establishing reintegration programs as part of its efforts to deal with serious ongoing security problems related to gangs. However, resource constraints and complex dynamics of violence in that country make it unlikely that such programs would yield sustainable results.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012

Five Colombian soldiers were caught transporting a shipment of cocaine from Medellin to the Caribbean coast, which could indicate that…

AUC / 9 AUG 2016

By the end of 1993, Pablo Escobar was cornered. The cocaine king -- known as "El Patrón" -- was running…

COLOMBIA / 26 APR 2013

Venezuela seized more than 2.6 tons of cocaine that authorities believe was destined for Central America, highlighting the scale of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…