The human rights commission of the Organization of American States expressed its “deep concern” on Monday over increased violence in Colombia’s historically war-torn regions.
In a statement, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said to be particularly alarmed by a recent increase in massacres.
According to the IACHR, the United Nations confirmed 42 massacres so far this year and is verifying another 13.
This is a major increase compared to the 36 massacres registered by the UN last year.
While Colombia reported its lowest homicide rate since 1974 in the first half of 2020, regions where the State failed to assume control following the demobilization of FARC guerrillas in 2017 appear to see an increase in violence as other groups are vying for control over illegal activities like drug trafficking and illegal mining.
Massacres in 2020
The violence is especially hitting regions where communities agreed to take part in the crop substitution program that is part of the peace deal with the FARC hard, according to the IACHR.
The victims of the violence are commonly members of ethnic minorities, women and minors, the OAS’ human rights body said.
The Commission highlights the intersection between the territories where the murders and massacres take place and the profile of the victims. In this regard, the IACHR emphasizes that these people belong, for the most part, to social groups that have historically and structurally suffered from the violation of their rights, particularly peasants, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, women, children, and adolescents, among others.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The IACHR reiterated its call on the government of President Ivan Duque to curb the violence by implementing the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC that is fiercely opposed by the president’s far-right Democratic Center party.