Embera people have been displaced from areas along the Baudó
River in Chocó in the last month, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR). Many were forced to flee their homes due to threats and conflict between two illegal armed groups.
The UNHCR reported that 1,000 Embera were displaced from Chocó’s Upper Baudó region after “200 members of an illegal
armed group entered [Embera] territory in the first week of March,
threatened the Embera and tried to force them to collaborate in attacks
against a rival illegal force”.
Another 1,000 Embera were displaced from the Lower Baudó due to fighting between the same two illegal armed groups.
The UNHCR praised the “swift humanitarian response from national
authorities and international organizations to the displaced in the
Upper Baudó” and added that in “the Lower Baudó, local authorities have provided basic
assistance to the displaced and national authorities are starting to
However it voiced concerns about the protection of these communities,which are “under constant pressure
from illegal armed groups and are facing increasing restrictions on
their ability to hunt or fish in their traditional homelands… At least 27 different indigenous groups are considered to be at risk
of extinction in Colombia, largely as a result of armed conflict and
The UNHCR also called for an investigation into human rights abuses in the region, following reports of the
murder of an indigenous woman and the rape of another two in the Lower Baudó.