Christopher Blattman, Benjamin Lessing and Santiago Tobón
Nearly every neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia, has a combo, or local street gang—almost four hundred in all. They earn most of their money from local drug sales. Some also run protection rackets, while others market legal goods—arepas, eggs, and even cooking gas—to locals. All these revenues make each Medellín neighborhood a valuable prize for combos to control.
That competition for prime territory should be a recipe for violence. Yet the city has an annual homicide rate far lower than that of cities like Chicago. Why?
This Irregular Warfare Initiative article was originally posted through our partner organization, the Modern War Institute at West Point. Continue reading the full article here.
Image credit: National Police of Colombia