February 10, 2021
Webinar, United States

This webinar was the first webinar in a series presenting innovative research on crime and violence in Latin America and the CaribbeanIf you would like to receive updates via email on future webinars in this series, sign up for the series mailing list here.

Can intensifying municipal and community governance displace gang rule? Urban criminal groups rule tens to hundreds of million of people worldwide. Despite their prevalence in cities around the world, there is little information available to policymakers about effective strategies to reduce their influence. In Medellín, Colombia, gangs instill a form of order and justice in the communities in which they operate. This research tests the role and impact of an anti-gang intervention designed in partnership with the City of Medellín and community officials that aims to increase the role of the city government in providing public services and reduce the role and control of criminal gangs.

On February 10, 2021, Innovations for Poverty Action, the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, and Princeton University held the first webinar in a series presenting innovative research on crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean. During this webinar, Christopher Blattman (University of Chicago) and Santiago Tobón (Universidad EAFIT) presented the results of the abovementioned study, which constitutes the first anti-gang randomized trial carried-out in any country. Jairo García (Defense Ministry of Colombia) then discussed the policy implications of this work. A 10-minute Q&A followed the presentations. The webinar was held in both English and Spanish, with translation provided from English to Spanish and vice versa.

Watch the webinar recording below:

English recording:

Spanish recording:


  • Christopher Blattman, Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at The University of Chicago and Research Associate at NBER
  • Santiago Tobón, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Research in Economics and Finance at Universidad EAFIT

Policy Discussant

  • Jairo García, Deputy Defense Minister for Strategy and Planning at Government of Colombia