Initiative: Cambia Tu Mente... Construye Paz
Institution: Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE)
Problem: The municipality of Manizales was confronted with the presence of gangs and a high rate of homicides in some neighborhoods which influenced violence caused by armed youth. This also had a direct impact on the inhabitants’ general perception of security and peace.
Solution: To make holistic decisions, the initiatives’ goal was to establish a dialogue with the members of the respective groups. The initiative was aimed at finding the root of the conflict as well as suitable solutions in consultation with the respective member of the groups. It seeks to change the mentality of people who belong to gangs, to manage real and lasting opportunities for them with support of other public and private entities and to provide good education and employment.
Impact: In 2015 Manizales was catalogued by the Colombian Cities Network as the city with the best perception of security. This perception is currently the highest of the decade and follows the implementation of the initiative, among other actions. While the nearby city of Armenia has a homicide rate of 40/10,000 inhabitants per year, Manizales has a rate of 17/10,000.