Cutting crime in a cocaine capital

The city of Cali, Colombia—considered the hub of the world’s cocaine industry in the 1980s—is now a safer, better place to live, even as drug gangs continue to war with each other, thanks to the efforts of Rodrigo Guerrero, a Harvard School of Public Health-trained epidemiologist who has been mayor since 2012.

The 77-year-old Guerrero, SM ’66, DPH ’68, spent three decades as a professor of public health at Universidad del Valle in Cali. He first served as mayor of Cali from 1992 to 1994. After he took office again in 2012, he imposed limits on alcohol sales, closed the bars earlier, initiated firearms restrictions, and increased lighting in parks, according to a November 7, 2014 Bloomberg article. He did so because he thought that, even amid the drug wars, it was important to cut down on violence from mundane causes such as bar fights and domestic disputes.

Guerrero—who described himself as a “violenceologist” in the article—said, “Cali is recovering its collective self-esteem.”

Read the Bloomberg article: Harvard-Trained Doctor Cuts Crime in Ex-Cocaine Capital