The town or province of Canelones, including crime and unemployment, police presence, "red zones," and whether it is known to be dangerous [URY39619.E]

Please find attached a map of the department of Canelones, published by the government (intendencia) of Canelones. Canelones is both a department (equivalent of a province) and a city (Chasque 2002; Intendencia de Canelones 6 Sept. 2002). The department of Canelones has the second largest population of Uruguay (Weekly News Update 21 May 2000; World Bank 17 July 2001). It borders and surrounds much of Montevideo (ibid.; Chasque 2002), and is considered part of the metropolitan area of Montevideo (World Bank 17 July 2001). Uruguay is considered a highly urban country, with more than 90 per cent of its 3.3 million inhabitants living in urban areas; in the past decade, migration to urban areas increased, with Canelones being one of the three places where that migration focused (ibid.).

The city of Canelones has industrial areas, and the department also includes areas of intensive farming (agricultura más intensiva) (ibid. 17 July 2001), and has beach residence and/or resort areas (balnearios) east of the capital (Chasque 2002).

The resort areas have recently suffered a decrease in visitors due to the Argentine economic crisis (Radio Espectador 12 Feb. 2002). Social and crime problems, however, reportedly date back to earlier periods: in a 1999 interview, the then-Minister of the Interior stated that public safety was more of a concern for only certain places in Uruguay, including among these "certain areas of Canelones" (en ciertas zonas de Canelones) (Revista Guambia 23 June 1999). In a 2001 interview, a police chief named Canelones as one of five urban centres of Uruguay that had "large populations and large problems" (gran población y también grandes problemas) (Puntaweb 30 Aug. 2001). According to a World Bank report, the suburban area of Montevideo bordering Canelones has poor school facilities, limited access to transportation, poor health services and deficient sanitation; its main problems are unemployment, particularly among youth, social divides (más divisiones sociales), and insecurity (17 July 2001).

The yearly report of the President for the activities of the year 2001 contains references to public safety actions in Canelones and other areas of Uruguay (Presidencia de la República 8 Mar. 2002). These actions included: the opening of a new police station in the Casarino neighbourhood or area of Canelones; increased patrolling of coastal areas of Canelones and Maldonado departments; launching of community policing throughout the department of Canelones; development of a new curriculum for the national, Montevideo and Canelones police academies; and a program of local prevention activities in Montevideo and Canelones, including police training in crime prevention and community policing, and support for the cities' neighbourhood security committees (Comisiones de Seguridad Barrial) (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Chasque, Montevideo. 2002. Chasque en Canelones. "Aquí estamos." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Intendencia de Canelones, Canelones. 6 September 2002. "Rutas del Departamento." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Presidencia de la República, Montevideo. 8 March 2002. Memoria Anual del Ejercicio 2001. "Ministerio del Interior: II.-Estrategias de Seguridad." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Puntaweb, Punta del Este. 30 August 2001. "El policía, la corrupción, la cárcel y la violencia en las comisarías." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Radio Espectador, Montevideo. 12 February 2002. "Colonia, la más afectada por la baja del turismo." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Revista Guambia [Montevideo]. 23 June 1999. No. 360. "Guillermo Stirling, Ministro con apoyo unánime." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]

Weekly News Update on the Americas [New York]. 21 May 2000. "Uruguay: Municipal Vote, March for Disappeared." (

World Bank, Washington, DC. 17 July 2001. Informe No. 21262-Uruguay: Preservación de la equidad social en una economía cambiante.$FILE/_aalp7aprlc5sluhbje1gq8rrc_.pdf [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]


Intendencia de Canelones, Canelones. 6 September 2002. "Rutas del Departamento." [Accessed 6 Sept. 2002]