More than 10% of Colombia’s population is displaced, Constitutional Court magistrate Luis Ernesto Vargas said Thursday.
The court official blames the massive displacement on the country’s armed conflict, but also on mega projects that are executed without consulting the local population, leaving them without access to their land.
The displacement hits indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups hardest, said Vargas. 16.6% of Colombia’s displaced are Afro-Colombian, and 6.5% are indigenous. The life expectancy of an indigenous person in Colombia is 30 years lower than the national average while 78% of Afro-Colombians and 69% of indigenous people suffer a food deficit, he added.
According to the magistrate, the government does not have the effective policies to combat displacement and improve living conditions of those displaced that would be needed to address the problems highlighted by the court in 2004, when it ruled that the government’s policy on the displaced was unconstitutional.
Colombia’s population is over 45 million. According to the judge’s calculation, more than 4.5 million of the country’s citizens are displaced.