By Sovereign Hager
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
BOGOTA, Colombia-A new report by a non-governmental organization released on Wednesday found that in the last twenty-five years, 2.4 million people were displaced under the presidency of Alvaro Uribe. The report was prepared by the Consultancy on Human Rights and Displacement (Codhes).
According to the report, 2009 saw a twenty four percent drop in displacement relative to 2008. In 2008 there was a record high of 380,863 people forcibly displaced. The head of Codhes stated that “clearly there is progress in some sectors of society, but not for the entire population, which calls into question the entire police of “Democratic Security.”
The report found that people are most affected in the regions of Chaco, Nariño Antioquia, Cordoba, Cauca, Arauca, Valle del cauca, Risadalda, Bolívar, Cesar, Meta, and Guajira. Narña, reportedly has experienced the worst displacement, with fifty-six percent of the total amount of displacement events.
Nariño is located on the border with Ecuador and is home to the majority of Colombian indigenous communities. It has been the sight of constant conflict between the Colombian military and the FARC rebels.
The “Democratic Security” policy went into effect in 2003, and has operated with the objective of widening the territory under the direct control of the central government and denying access of land to illegal armed groups; protecting population centers with the presence of security forces; and fighting the flow of drugs.
The head of Codhes told media that “at the core of the reasons for this forced displacement is the violent appropriation of land, and threats to leave that are issued by paramilitaries and the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia.” He also pointed out that, although the number of Colombians leaving the country has declined, “Colombia is still the country with the highest number of refugees in the world after Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan.”
The “democratic security” policy has been criticized as ignoring the social costs of its implementation and for the fact that Colombian civilians are exposed to danger and human rights abuses.
For more information, please see:
IPS-COLOMBIA:Who Cares About the Victims of Forced Displacement?-29 January 2010
Morning Star-Violence Forces Out 286,000 Colombians-28 January 2010
Colombia Reports-2.4 Million Colombians Displaced Under Uribe Presidency-27 January 2010