Updated 09:38 AM EST, Tue, Nov 24, 2020

Bogota Fights for Peace in Colombia: Carrying of Weapons Now Banned Until December 31

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In order to minimize the country's ballooning crime rate, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has banned citizens from carrying any kind of weapon that could used for theft, extortion and murder.

The nationwide moratorium is effective from Jan. 31 to Dec. 31, 2016. It will run throughout the year. Santos announced the ban while speaking at an event honoring Bogota's new mayor Enrique Peñalosa, per ABC Color.

The 79-year old re-electionist was sworn in as mayor of Bogota just this month. Colombians took a liking to the elder statesman's stand on improving the city's broken transportation system, and implementing heightened security measures to reduce high murder rates.

Peñalosa garnered international attention during his first term as Bogota mayor between 1998 and 2001 for his automobile ordinances that greatly improved the mobility of eight million Bogota residents.

While in office, he restricted traffic during rush hours and optimized the city's public space by erecting over 1,000 new parks, and more than 300 kilometers of bicycle lanes. He also instigated a mass transit system, TheGuardian reported.

Peñalosa's ironclad albeit effective style of governance could be what Santos is trying to emulate. The Colombian president indicated that the country has experienced its lowest homicide rates in the last 40 years, with only 24 killed per 100,000 inhabitants.

With that said, a new threat is plaguing the nation and scaring away tourists. According to News.com, vicious acid attacks have victimized a total of 222 Colombians since 2013.

Santos implemented a law on Monday, which punishes convicted individuals with up to 50 years behind bars. He signed the legislation during a ceremony at the Casa de Nariño, the Colombian president's official abode. Acid attack victim Natalia Ponce De Leon, to whom the law was named, was present during the event.

De Leon was left heavily disfigured when a man she had never even met poured a liter of sulphuric acid over her face and body in Bogota in March 2014. Monday's ceremony was De Leon's first public appearance without wearing a mask.

TheCityPaper pointed out that most of the victims were women in their 20s and 30s. Resisting a mugger was usually the reason why male victims were pelted with acid. Approximately 926 acid attacks were reported in the country between 2004 and 2014.

"We don't want to continue to occupy the dishonorable position of being one of the leading countries in the world in terms of the number of acid attacks," De Leon bravely declared. "We must do everything necessary to protect victims and prevent future cases."

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