Colombia’s government said Monday humanitarian aid will be sent to the southwestern department of Cauca despite ongoing armed clashes between rebels and government forces.
Colombia’s government announced more than 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the Cauca municipalities of Caldono, Miranda, Toribio and Argelia, where hundreds have been displaced from their homes in the past two weeks due to fighting between FARC rebels and Colombian armed forces.
Cauca, which has long been a FARC stronghold, experienced a rash of incidents recently that highlighted the dire security situation in the troubled department. On Wednesday, some 400 members of an indigenous community occupied a military communications base near the embattled town of Toribio to protest increased military presence in the region. This occured on the same day that President Juan Manuel Santos visited the town to announce a new security strategy aimed at tackling FARC presence in Cauca.
The government said the aid package will consist of food, housing and cooking equipment.
The aid is being sent as an integrated part of Colombia’s Victim’s Law, which in part guarantees humanitarian aid to those affected by the violence of armed actors, including state forces.
According to the law, a victim is “any person who has suffered damage, as a consequence of violations of the international norms of Human Rights or the International Humanitarian Law, within the boundaries of the armed conflict.”