Urban Poor Perceptions of Violence and Exclusion in Colombia

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Despite sustained improvements in its social and economic indicators over the past several decades and its rich stock of natural and human resources, Colombia remains plagued by violence. The very high level of violence reflects a variety of factors, including the country's simmering 50-year-old civil war, the increase in armed conflict, the rise in urban and rural crime, and drug cartel-linked violence. As the government struggles to reach peace agreements with guerilla and paramilitary groups, political violence and armed conflict have been the primary focuses of political analysts and civil society groups alike. The perceptions of violence by people living in poor communities have received much less attention. This report addresses the issue by providing the results of a participatory study of violence conducted in low-income urban communities in Colombia.