Report: Massive Increase in Forced Displacement in Colombia

News from Colombia | on: Sunday, 22 June 2008

In a new report, CODHES, the organisation that collates figures about forced displacement in Colombia, has estimated that 113,473 people were forced from their homes during the first three months of 2008 a massive increase on previous years and the highest quarterly figure since the 1990s.

Amnesty International has reported that forced displacement now affects more people than any other type of human rights abuse in Colombia and, as well as CODHES, both the Red Cross and the Catholic Church have also recorded increases in displacement in recent months.

Worryingly, the new CODHES report also records a considerable increase in death threats made against leaders of the displaced population and around 250 leading members of the displaced community have received death threats this year according to the organisation. The majority of these threats, says CODHES, have come from paramilitary groups known as the 'Black Eagles'. As a result of the threats at least 30 displaced leaders have been re-displaced, some having been forced to leave Colombia and go into exile.

In some cases, says the report, the threats have been carried out such as in the case of Cesar Julio Molina, the leader of displaced people in the north of the department of Valle del Cauca, who was assassinated on May 9th.

In February, CODHES reported a 38% increase in displacement during 2007 compared to 2006 for further information see Huge Increase in Forced Displacement during 2007

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