More than 2,000 Embera indigenous people have been forced from their
homes after a new paramilitary group entered their territory in
north-west Colombia and started physically and sexually
abusing the indigenous, the UN says and calls on the Government to act.
25 communities of Embera people have found shelter near the Baudo River in the north-western Chocó department. According to the UN refugee agency, more communities may be on the run.
According to the UNHCR, a new, 200-men-strong paramilitary group arrived in the region in the beginning of March to fight a left-wing guerrilla group that was present in the region, but got increasingly hostile towards the indigeous population of the jungle area.
Through interviews with the refugees, the UN learned about “systematic sexual violence” against the Embera women and violence against the Embera men.
The UNHCR states the displaced are in urgent need of attention and calls on the Colombian Government to step in and stop the alleged abuse by the paramilitary group.