Colombia: Armed clashes driving large numbers from homes in Chocó department

Posted on May 15, 2016 • Filed under: Colombia, Conflicts, Crime, Latin America Indigenous Issues

GENEVA, May 13 (UNHCR) – Armed clashes between illegal groups fighting for territory in western Colombia are driving a growing number of mostly Afro-Caribbean and indigenous peoples from their homes in Chocó department, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has warned.

In the past two months alone, more than 6,000 people have fled the fighting, as well as ongoing hostilities in the context of the country’s civil war. The clashes, around the Baudo, Atrato and San Juan rivers, have also severely restricted the movements of a further 7,000 people.

“To date, the displacement has mostly affected Afro-Colombians and indigenous people,” UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday (May 13). “For these people access to livelihoods, including fishing, hunting and agriculture, has been completely cut off and their children are no longer able to go to school,” he added. Read Article

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