A Million Deaths in Colombia?

News from Colombia | on: Friday, 11 April 2008

An article published by the Indigenous Association of Cauca, an organisations representing indigenous people in southwest Colombia, has alleged that a million people have lost their lives in the current Colombian conflict. The article also states that the conflict is primarily about control of resources and land in particular and says that around 30% of the best land in Colombia, an area representing millions and millions of hectares, is in the hands of rightwing paramilitary drugs traffickers.

The article calculates that in the first phase of the Colombian conflict between the 1947 assassination of political leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan and 1955, a period known as 'La Violencia' some 600,000 people lost their lives. It then describes the 1956-1988 period as one of "relative calm" during which around 100,000 people were killed.

The article continues by describing some 200,000 deaths between 1989 and 2007 but also points to a figure produced by Human Rights Watch which says that in fact 200,000 were killed between 1998 and 2003 alone.

Justice for Colombia has not seen any completely reliable figures for total the deaths caused by the Colombian conflict since it began in 1947, and would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on this subject.

The full article from the Indigenous Association of Cauca can be seen on their website at http://www.nasaacin.org/noticias.htm?x=7525

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