Paramilitaries forcibly displace FARC community in western Colombia

The FARC political party has called on the Colombian authorities and the United Nations to act after paramilitaries forcibly displaced a number of FARC members from the village of Río Ciego in the department of Chocó, western Colombia. The former guerrillas who were working on productive projects as part of the reincorporation process under the terms of the 2016 peace agreement.

The group of more than 20 heavily-armed paramilitaries threatened the FARC members, as well as community leaders including the president of the local council, Ever Ramos Gallego. They also threatened to kill community members who refused to leave the area.

According to the FARC, the displacement victims are in urgent need of medical attention, clothing and food. In a statement denouncing the violence displacement, the party said ‘we want to make an emphatic call to the Colombian State, headed by the National Government, to act in consequence and effectively combat the paramilitary structures which today are strengthening in more than 28 of the country’s departments. In the same way, we request the intervention of the international community, especially the Second Mission of the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations to confront this difficult situation’.

FARC members have suffered high levels of political violence since the peace agreement was signed in November 2016, with close to 80 former combatants and around 20 close relatives murdered.