Bogotá's lesson in crime fighting

The numbers speak volumes. Considered the most violent city in Latin America in the mid 90’s with a homicide rate of 80 per hundred thousand inhabitants, Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia and home to seven million people, saw its murder rate drop by 71% in 10 years to 23 homicides per hundred thousand inhabitants. The expected rate for 2006 is approximately 18 homicides per hundred thousand inhabitants.

The change is the result of an integrated and participatory security policy first adopted in 1995 and carried through the next two administrations. These were the first of Bogotá’s administrations to frame security problems locally, from the ground up.

According to Sociologist Hugo Acero Velásquez, who headed the Bogotá’s Sub-Office for Security for 8 years, the secret for a successful security plan is the participation of all sectors of society.

In this dossier we compile news reports and articles, and list useful sources for those interested in knowing more on the subject.

Read Further:

Violência urbana: O ‘aço’ que domou Bogotá (Portuguese)

From the Brazilian newspaper "O Dia".

Sources in Spanish:

Plan de Seguridad de Bogotá (Decreto 503 de 2003)

Sistema Unificado de Información sobre Violencia y Delincuencia de Bogotá 

Estadísticas de victimización y criminalidad en Bogotá, Cali y Medellín.

Informaciones sobre políticas, programas y proyectos municipales de prevención a la violencia en Colombia 

Fundación Seguridad y Democracia 

Policía Nacional de Colombia 


Advancing against violence in Bogotá

Antanas Mockus

Forging a Culture of Citizenship in Bogota City

Cristina Rojas

Seguridad Cidadana y Policia (Spanish, PDF)

Alfredo Rangel

Bogotá Anatomía de una transformación: políticas de seguridad y convivencia ciudadana, 1995-2003 (Spanish, PDF)

Gerard Martin and Miguel Ceballos



Bogotá: profiling a security plan that is integrated and participatory

Bogotá's success story, an article by Hugo Acero Velásquez

Marcaje y rastreo de munición: Indumil en Colombia - Katherine Aguirre e Jorge Restrepo (In Spanish)



From what I have learned is

From what I have learned is that it is important to engage every community in the society and make them a part of your campaign so that community isn't left in isolation.

It is good to see what Bogota is doing is still not happening in many cities where crime-rates are still high and yes in emerging and developed economies as well so they should definitely learn from Bogota and see how this city is now heading towards sustainability and progress.


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