HomeNewsBriefBogota Homicides Reach 27-Year Low after Gun Ban
BRIEF

Bogota Homicides Reach 27-Year Low after Gun Ban

COLOMBIA / 12 SEP 2012 BY VICTORIA ROSSI EN

The murder rate in Colombian capital Bogota has fallen to its lowest point in 27 years, following a citywide ban on carrying guns in public.

Homicides in the Colombian capital have dropped by 21 percent this year, with 817 murders between January and August, compared to 1,021 murders in the same period in 2011. That equates to a murder rate of 16.1 per 100,000 people for 2012, making Bogota less violent than Chicago, whose rate is 19 per 100,000.

According to BBC Mundo, Bogota’s murder rate stood at 22 per 100,000 people before Mayor Gustavo Petro's administration implemented a three-month ban on guns in public places in February 2012. The ban has since been extended twice, most recently in August, for another three months. Petro stated that the gun restriction had reduced the number of deaths caused by firearms by 58 percent.

In an interview with the BBC before the gun ban went into effect, Petro’s chief of staff estimated that about 60 percent of Bogota murders involved firearms.

InSight Crime Analysis

Most Latin American countries far exceed the global average for the proportion of murders committed with firearms, according to an August report by the Small Arms Survey. The survey found that firearms were involved in 60 percent of murders throughout the region, compared to a global average of 42 percent, with El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela among the worst afflicted.

If Bogota's gun restriction policy is indeed causing the capital's dramatic fall in homicides, it could provide a model for other cities attempting to curb their murder rates.

However, a gun ban on its own does not necessarily lead a drop in violence, as evidenced by Medellin. Colombia's second largest city imposed a year-long ban on guns in January, yet has seen violence rage in certain areas as rival gangs battle for control over key neighborhoods. The dynamics of a city's criminal underworld, and whether or not it is a crucial point in the drug trade, also play a vital role in determining violence levels.

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

ARGENTINA / 7 MAY 2021

The cat-and-mouse game of evading law enforcement was taken literally by drug smugglers recently in Panama, who hid cocaine on…

COLOMBIA / 25 JUL 2022

The Urabeños, and some smaller Colombian gangs, have sent a letter to president-elect Gustavo Petro to seek peace.

COLOMBIA / 2 MAR 2022

After dozens of coordinated events to paralyze portions of Colombia, ELN militants underscored that the armed group remains the country's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.