Eight hundred people have been displaced since the beginning of March on the Pacific coast of Colombia due to violence by illegal armed groups, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Colombia.
The body reported an increasing rate of displacement near the city of Buenaventura in the Valle del Cauca department.
The local ombudsman reported to UNHCR that 789 people have registered as displaced including 370 children and 46 elderly as of March 11, 2011, and reported 62 more families registered this past Monday.
The exodus from rural areas around Buenaventura began after members of an illegal armed group killed a person on a bus full of passengers on February 28 in Agua Clara, and panic escalated days later when two bodies were found floating down a river.
According to the agency, which monitors displacement all over the world, authorities in the region have reported an increase of illegal mining and attempts by illegal arms groups to violently control mining zones.
The United Nations reported in November of 2010 that Colombia has 3.7 million internally displaced people and 380,000 refugees abroad making it the country with the most people displaced by violence in the world.