Afro-Colombian Communities Under Attack

News from Colombia | on: Saturday, 1 March 2008

Military operations in south western Colombia are putting the lives of hundreds of Afro-Colombians living in remote rural communities at risk according to reports from the region. Bombing and machine gun fire from military aircraft has already destroyed the homes of two families.

The armed forces moved into the region around the Yurumangui and Naya rivers in mid-February although the aerial attacks only began on February 21st in and around the community of San Jeronimo. Heavily armed 'Piranha' launches have also been patrolling the rivers in the area. A second wave of aircraft bombed the region on February 28th at approximately 2pm.

The communities in the region live from fishing, cultivating fruit and maize and woodcutting, but the military operations have prevented people from carrying out such activities for fear of injury or death.

A powerful FARC guerrilla unit is thought to be somewhere in the region and it is feared that civilians may be caught in fighting should it break out.

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