miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2014

"More insecurity" reported in Bogota

Apparently bucking the trend of recent years, crime figures were reported to have risen in Bogota in 2014, though much more in some districts than others. In half the city's districts, homicides, injuries and thefts increased between January and 17 September 2014, according to a report issued by a research body attached to the city government, El Espectador reported on 5 October. It indicated that while the overall murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants remained low in the capital and below the national rate, violence was persistent and increasing in southern and south-central Bogota. A colour-coded map of city sectors showed districts with highest homicide rates this year, effectively all in southern Bogota. They were Santa Fe with 68 homicides/100,000 inhabitants, Los Mártires with 58, Ciudad Bolívar 37, San Cristóbal 27 and Usme 21. Santa Fe and the neighborhoods of Chapinero and Candelaria were cited as areas with most muggings - two per cent of people there were likely to be robbed at any given time. Authorities usually attribute violent deaths to "intolerance," drinking alcohol and drug use, which the daily observed was obvious and hardly an acceptable explanation. Police and soldiers are visible on Bogota's streets, especially at weekends and during football matches when people are searched, though their presence is likely more marked in middle class and tourist districts. The Candelaria, a neighborhood inside Santa Fe and setting of most of the city's monuments and tourist activity, was shown for example to have far fewer homicides than its surroundings. Schools are apparently another source of social violence. A poll organized by one of the city's NGOs showed that six out of 10 pupils were bullied there, and many went to school armed. Ricardo Ruidiaz of the Amigos Unidos foundation said his group had "repeatedly" warned city education authorities and the Education Ministry that bullying had become "overwhelming" in several cities, RCN la Radio reported on 8 October. The poll cited consulted about 5,000 pupils. Ruidiaz said many children went to school with "knives, guns and other things," either to defend themselves or use them on others, and bullying often happened before teachers, who could also face intimidation.