In the bustling city of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a new kind of terror has been stalking its streets since the economic crisis of the 2000s. Kalunas, well-organized criminal gangs with an iron fist and no scruples, have been wreaking havoc on the population through drug trafficking, muggings, assaults and especially vicious attacks on rival gangs with machetes.
These actions have caused an increase in crime rates as well as more violent forms of delinquency. Fear is rampant in many neighbourhoods and citizens live in constant dread. The kalunas seemingly operate without consequence, taking advantage of their impunity to spread fear and insecurity throughout the city.
This phenomenon was brought to light by a recently released documentary called Blood Kaluna: Inside Kinshasa’s Underworld. The film follows three members of a kaluna gang as they go about their daily lives and examines their motivations for joining such a dangerous lifestyle. It also looks into the history behind these gangs and explores what lies at its core – despair, poverty and lack of opportunity among youth living in slums and deprived areas.
Blood Kaluna gives viewers a first-hand look at this dark underbelly of Congolese society and shines a light on the causes behind it. If you want to understand what makes kalunas so powerful in Kinshasa or want to get closer to understanding life for Congolese people living under this shadow, then watch Blood Kaluna: Inside Kinshasa’s Underworld now!