The amount of large-scale displacements in Colombia increased 83% in 2012 compared to 2011, said a local NGO on Tuesday.
According to a CODHES [Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement] report, in 2012 there was an 83% increase in the number of large-scale displacements suggesting that the total number of Colombians forcefully displaced by armed conflict “is likely to exceed” previous years.
“The most vulnerable…including children, adolescents and women…are disproportionately affected…[particularly] indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations,” read the report.
A large-scale displacement is defined by CODHES as at least 10 households or 50 people being forced to move at once. In many instances, indigenous communities have been forced off their ancestral lands because of violence or threats of violence. The worst-affected areas are reportedly located in southwest Colombia. In the southern department of Cauca, for example, the Nasa indigenous people are in the midst of a “humanitarian crisis.”
The report stated that conflicts have been exacerbated due to an increased demand in land for mining and agribusiness.
“The state, multinational agribusiness and mining [companies], drug traffickers, guerrillas, and [neo-paramilitaries], vie for control and use of the territories of northern Cauca. The disputes…reflect structural conflicts over territory in terms of how to exploit the land and subsoil [for mining],” claimed the report.
“We are facing an increase in human rights violations and [violations] of international humanitarian law,” concluded CODHES.
According to the most recent figures Colombia has the highest number of internally displaced people in the world.