A drug trafficking route from Colombia’s central coffee zone stretching all the way to the Pacific coast is increasing violence in the region, according to a Colombian human rights organization.
Carlos Mario Orozco, director of the Human Rights Collective, warned listeners on Caracol Radio Tuesday that the emergence of a new trafficking route from the north of the Valle del Cauca department through the Cañon de Garrapatas is contributing to escalating violence, particularly in the capital city of Pereira in the central Risaralda department.
According to the organization, the violence directly follows the trafficking trail, affecting the Dos Quebradas municipality in the Risaralda department and the Choco department in northwest Colombia. In the past month, human rights workers in Risaralda have been the recipients of death threats from criminal groups operating in the area.
The most vulnerable populations in these areas of escalating violence are women and indigenous people who are abused and displaced by the criminal groups, reported RCN radio.
Six people, including a family of four, were murdered in the small town of Pueblo Rico in Risaralda on March 20, 2011, however, due to threats from the perpetrators no one reported the incident until March 22.