More than 400 indigenous people have been forced to flee their homes in western Colombia following combat between the military and an illegal armed group near the port city of Buenaventura.
By the end of November, the indigenous group mobilized to Buenaventura forced by the gunfire between Marine infantry and an unidentified illegal armed group, confirmed both the United Nations and the Red Cross.
The tribe was displaced from Union Balsalito, a rural settlement that belongs to the Litoral de San Juan municipality in western Choco and Union Aguaclara located just outside Buenaventura, the largest city on the Colombia’s Pacific coast.
The ethnicity of the indigenous is Nonam, a community affected during last years by the conflict; in August 2011, 98 members of this group moved to Buenaventura looking for refuge after being threatened by bullet exchanges.
In early October, national indigenous right organization ONIC also denounced the displacement of 900 people that belong to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities to this coastal city.
In all four cases, the local government didn’t have the resources to house the refugees in proper conditions, hosting them at the city’s municipal gym.
The UN reported that there are some of the members of this community that still remain in their settlements being unable to move out due to the risk of being hit by a bullet.
The Red Cross told Colombia Reports that most of the refugees were able to find housing with friends and family, and another 30 refugees arrived in Buenaventura on Thursday morning.
International organizations like the UN, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are involved in the provision of aid to the war refugees.
Six million Colombians, or 13% of the population, have been victim of displacement as a result of the conflict that for decades has been waging between the state, leftist rebel groups, right-wing paramilitary groups and drug traffickers.