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New Projects: Violence prevention in Colombia


The IDB has approved a $57 million loan to Colombia to finance a program designed to reduce levels of crime and violence.

On the national level, the new operation will help Colombia improve crime reporting and information gathering. It will also make judicial services more accessible to the public and develop alternative methods for resolving conflicts.

Also included is training for police in community relations, research on ways to reduce violence, evaluation of existing legislation, and the development of an anti-violence communications strategy enlisting the participation of the news media and entertainment industry.

At the municipal level, in the capital of Bogotá as well as in Cali, Medellín and other departmental capitals, the program will finance the improvement of local crime reporting, programs to teach respect for the law and reduce alcohol consumption and domestic violence, and police education in human rights and maintaining law and order.

Youth programs will include early prevention measures at home, school recreational facilities, training, and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of young offenders.




Mexico City, a large part of which occupies land that in historic times lay underwater, now finds itself running out of the groundwater needed by its expanding population.

Moreover, removing the groundwater has caused the earth to subside in many places, damaging water and sewerage systems and in some cases threatening buildings.

With no major nearby source of surface water, the city--one of the world's biggest--is developing a strategic plan to recharge its aquifers and conserve the resource.

The plan, which will be financed with the help of a newly approved $960,000 IDB grant, will propose options that take into account the area's topography, geology, and land use, and identify ways to improve flood control, water supply, drainage and sanitation systems.

Most of the rain the Valley of Mexico receives falls during severe storms, just one of which can account for as much as 10 percent of the city's mean annual precipitation. Seventy-seven percent of all rainwater returns to the atmosphere before sinking into the soil.

With limited aquifer recharge taking place, barely half of the groundwater withdrawn in recent years is being replenished.

The strategic plan, which will be financed by the Japanese Trust Fund, will give particular importance to the 860-square-mile Federal District Conservation Area in the southern part of the city. The area's 15 subcatchments and the permeability of its geological formations would make it a natural aquifer recharge area.

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