Amnesty International (AI) Wednesday denounced the significant increase
in internally displaced people in Colombia because of the armed
conflict and calls on the fighting groups not to involve civilians,
local media reported.
Around 380,000 people were displaced only in 2008, which means an increase of 24 percent compared to 2007, the AI report revealved.
The figures confirm that Colombia experiences “one of the biggest tragedies of these days. The Colombian government is lying when it says that the violence is part of the past,” Marcelo Pollack, deputy director of AI’s Program for America, told newscast CMI.
“The reality is very different” from what the government of Alvaro Uribe shows the world, Pollack added. Though the AI director admitted that the situation “has improved in some aspects such as the decrease in kidnappings and homicides related to the armed conflict.”
But civilians “remain the main victim of fightings between guerrillas and paramilitaries,” Pollack said and explained that the most affected are the indigneous, peasants and Afro-descendants.
Pollack added that the displaced often are exposed to “double discrimination” because they “not only suffer the pain and difficulties of the displacement itself but when they arrive in the host communities they have to face hostility, prejudices and stigmas.”
“Many local authorities consider these people as guerrillas or supporters of the FARC, or they are arfraid to bring the conflict to their own villages and cities,” the AI official said.
Pollack requested Colombian authorities to “recognize that there is a problem and an armed conflict in Colombia so that the international humanitarian law can be applied.”