The real number of displaced people in the north Colombia department of
Cordoba are higher than assumed by authorities, a local organization
Chairman of Comfavic, Mario Montes De Oca, said many displaced people are threatened by paramilitary groups and do not register their displacement with the authorities which keeps the number down, newspaper El Heraldo reported.
Because of this, many forced displacements do not fall within the responsibility of Accion Social, Colombia’s government agency for displaced, or registered by municipal Ombudsmen, the human rights defender said.
According to coordinator of Accion Social in Cordoba, Francisoco Macea Algarin, the agency works on all reported cases of displacements and provides humanitarian assistance and legal rights. Many displaced people simply do not register with Accion Social due to “ignorance, fear or lack of interest”, Macea claimed.
The under-reporting leaves more than 1000 displaced families in the area without any protection by the state, Rosa Amela Hernandez, leader of a displaced community, said.
Cordoba currently counts 130,000 displaced people, the non-governmental Foundation Sinu reported. Authorities will reveal the official number this week.
Colombia counts between three and four million internally displaced people.