The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Prevention of urban violence in Colombia

16 March 2017, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Cali Colombia event

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The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Lecture Theatre G12, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB

Urban violence appears to be a growing problem in many cities around the world. Some cities in Latin America have been victims of this phenomenon for decades, so the problem remains a major challenge for decision-makers, planners and health professionals. This lecture describes the application of a data driven approach to control violence in an urban setting of high violence like Cali, Colombia’s third largest city. The method starts with a clear definition of violence, a detailed analysis of descriptive variables (age, sex, geographical occurrence, etc.), the formulation of a hypothesis and application of interventions, followed by an evaluation. The method was developed under Dr Guerrero’s first administration as elected Mayor of Cali in 1992-1994, and then again during his second administration as elected Mayor in 2012-2015. The need for reliable data is a sine qua non, of this approach.

Dr Rodrigo Guerrero graduated as a medical doctor from Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia and with a PhD in Epidemiology from Harvard. After leaving the Mayor’s office (92-94), he joined the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, where he started the Violence Prevention Program. He is an Honorary Professor and active member of CISALVA, Violence Research Center at Universidad del Valle, and a member of the U.S National Academy of Medicine. His academic life has been intertwined with social development work, as a physician in a health center and as Director of Fundacion Carvajal. More recently he has worked with Vallenpaz, a non-profit corporation devoted to help peasants in conflict-ridden, rural areas of Colombia.