The following is Part one of a four-part blog on inequality, economic crime and social fabric in Colombia by Steven Bunce
‘I want my mother to move. This neighbourhood has grown insecure. Since they opened a shopping centre here, it has attracted thieves’.
When I ask my friend why he attributes a surge in robberies to the opening of a shopping centre, he explains that this middle-class district of Cartagena is surrounded by rapidly expanding poorer zones. The residents who shop there are increasingly falling prey to hold-ups by poorer residents that move in and out of the area, eyes peeled for more well to do individuals exiting their homes or the mall with their purchases. ‘They’re like sharks circling, looking for something to feed on’, he adds.