The number of murders in the Colombian metropolis of Medellín, which was once notorious for the Pablo Escobar cartel and suffered from the violence of the drug boss, has been as low as it has been in decades. This is due to the restrictions in public life due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The city’s security secretariat announced that 18 people were killed in Medellín in March. “That’s a historic number,” said security secretary José Gerardo Acevedo in a video from the city administration on Twitter.
According to a report by the newspaper “El Espectador”, March was the month with the least murders in Medellín in 40 years. “Without a doubt, we cannot deny that the quarantine has brought us positives such as a decrease in crime,” said Acevedo. The total number of murders this year was 86, a 44 percent decrease. The number has also decreased in other crimes.
In the 1980s and 1990s, drug boss Escobar ran his cocaine business from Colombia’s second largest city after Bogotá. Up to 6000 murders are attributed to the Medellín cartel. Even after its destruction, the city remained the location with the highest murder rate worldwide for many years.
Trump warns: Drugscartels could take advantage of corona crisis
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump warned that drug cartels could use the coronavirus crisis to smuggle drugs into the United States. “We cannot allow the drug cartels to take advantage of the pandemic to threaten American lives,” he said. Additional destroyers, warships, airplanes and helicopters would therefore be used. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said it would almost double the capacity in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean to fight smuggling routes.
Chief of Staff Mark Milley referred to intelligence information that cartels wanted to take advantage of the crisis to bring drugs to America. “You will not enter this country,” he said to the drug cartels. “We will defend our country – whatever the cost.” Milley added: “We are at war with Covid-19, we are at war with terrorists and we are also at war with drug cartels.”