World Health & Population

World Health & Population November -0001 : 0-0.doi:10.12927/whp..17590

An Epidemiological Approach for the Prevention of Urban Violence: The Case of Cali, Colombia

Rodrigo Guerrero and Alberto Concha-Eastman


Violence has been present in human societies since the beginning of recorded history. Wars and massive genocides are part of human history. It is only recently that the question of the inevitability or preventability of these acts has been raised.

"Identifying violence as a public health issue is a relatively new idea", wrote Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in 1985 (Koop, 1989). Later, in 1992, Koop declared that violence was a public health emergency (Koop, 1992). The Ministers of Health of the Americas declared 'Prevention of Violence' as a public health priority in 1993 (PAHO, undated) and the World Health Assembly passed a similar resolution in 1996 (WHO, 1996). At present, the prevention of violence is not only making it to the front page of newspapers but is also very high on the political agenda of mayors and other decision-makers.

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