Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug traffickers carried our 27% more attacks on civilians in 2017, the first year of a peace process with the country’s largest guerrilla group.
Mass displacement as a consequence of violence by these illegal armed groups went up 53%, according to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The OCHA said it registered a “deterioration in humanitarian indicators in 2017 [that] evidences the need to continue with the humanitarian response in the country in 2018.”
According to the UN office, one in 10 Colombians is in need of humanitarian assistance, also due to “the persistence of institutional presence and social investment vacuums.”
In 2017 an increase in the number of mass displacement events, threats and homicides of social leaders was registered, and cases of forced recruitment and GBV continue being reported. Attacks against the civilian population have shown an increase with regards to last year.
While the state failed to enter abandoned FARC territory, “non-state armed actors … have extended their presence and actions” in these areas “and continue causing victimizing acts,” according to the UN.
“As a result, mass displacements, recruitment, threats and assassinations to human rights leaders and defenders, homicides, sexual violence, restrictions on mobility and confinement still pose great challenges for consolidating respect for human rights,” the humanitarian office of the UN said.
The humanitarian and protection needs by armed conflict and generalized violence also disproportionally aggravate the unequal social and economic situation, creating new and greater protection risks, particularly for identified vulnerable populations such as: boys, girls, adolescents and youth as well as afro and indigenous communities.
Santos and the FARC signed peace in late 2016 after more than half a year of armed conflict after which the former guerrillas were allowed to take part in politics.
According to European observers, the government has failed to execute more than 80% of the peace agreement and refuses to acknowledge the paramilitary groups that operate in the countryside, often with the help of rogue elements within the military and far-right political forces.