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Urban violence and humanitarian action in Medellin

Colombia has long experienced acute forms of political violence in and at the periphery of its major cities. Humanitarian agencies have also for decades protected civilians in order to minimize suffering within armed conflicts. Yet in recent years, humanitarian organizations have started to engage in settings that are neither war nor peace. These environments feature complex forms of politically – and economically- motivated violence. The city of Medellin (Colombia), in particular, is the paradigmatic example of such an environment where different types of violence come together in complex ways.

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