Over 380,000 Colombians Forced From Homes During 2008

News from Colombia | on: Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A new report from Colombia's leading displacement research organisation says that more than 380,000 people were forced from their homes by violence last year a 24.5% increase over 2007. In their report CODHES, the internationally respected NGO, says that since 1985 a total of 4.6 million people have been displaced due to the conflict. Though CODHES' figures are backed up by studies carried out by international organisations, the Colombian regime disputes the numbers and says that in fact only around 3 million people have been displaced.

The new report, which was released in Bogota today, says that the main cause of displacement is violence though aerial fumigation of illegal coca plantations (the raw material for cocaine) has also forced thousands of small farmers from their homes and land. CODHES also pointed out that 2008 was the second year in a row to see an increase in displacement see "Huge Increase in Forced Displacement during 2007" for previous coverage.

In February this year the US State Department annual report on human rights also found that forced displacement was increasing in Colombia and the United Nations recently called on the Colombian authorities to do more to stop the problem and to assist those that have been forced to flee their homes. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, a Norwegian-funded organisation that closely studies the situation of displaced people around the world, says that approximately 4.3 million Colombian's have been displaced as a result of the conflict second only in the world to the Sudan.

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