|'Amar no Matar' 'Love Instead of Killing' says a banner in today's March for the Victims.|
So, the reports that homicides are down significantly in Bogotá is encouraging.
The drop isn't huge: 17% in febrero and 6% in March compared against 2011. But those are 65 fewer lives lost, 65 fewer families wracked by tragedy, 65 fewer agonizing parents or fatherless (or motherless) children, 65 fewer lovers left alone, 65 fewer dreams disappeared.
Many reports tie the drop in homicides to recent restrictions on the carrying of firearms. Other factors, such as restrictions on liquor sales, more police on the street and a growing economy may also be factors.
But the fact that some other types of violence and street crime have increased argues strongly that the firearms restrictions have saved lives. This year, police have confisticated nearly one thousand firearms. Since most fatal shootings occur during gang disputes or common street fights, fewer guns on the street mean less likelihood that those altercations will turn fatal.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours