Even after 50 years, Colombian civil war rages on
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/5/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A visit from deputy U.N. aid chief Kyung-wha Kang has led to the disturbing revelation that despite peace efforts, thousands of Colombians are still being displaced every month due to the ongoing 50 year-war that has ravaged their country.
Colombia's half-century long civil war has resulted in over 200,000 civilian deaths, and more die everyday due to landmines and drug-fueled violence.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kang ended a four-day official visit to Colombia on June 4, and said that the Colombian government needs to do more to help those affected by the violence, especially in the most hard hit areas.
The conflict in Colombia, which began back around 1964 and involves the Colombian government, drug-running communist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and right-wing paramilitary groups, has displaced 5.7 million civilians, and caused the deaths of over 200,000 more.
"The ongoing displacement due to the ongoing armed conflict, which has lasted more than five decades, continues to displace, affect new people. I understand that even with the peace process there's on average about 14,000 displacements taking place and hundreds killed or injured by landmines," said Kang.
"The people I met told me they want peace so they can live their lives without fear. There are gaps in aid, especially in the areas that are difficult to access and where local capacity is limited," she added.
The Colombian government and rebels have been in peace talks since November 2012, but regardless of any truce or ceasefire, the high levels of drug-fueled gang violence in Colombian cities will continue to fuel violence Kang said.
"It is also vital to recognize that the eventual signing of a peace accord will not mean the end of violence for all Colombians."
Kang cited Buenaventura, Colombia's main port city on the Pacific Ocean as a place struggling with drug related violence.
Home to 370,000 people, the city is a major smuggling point for cocaine being transported to America though Central America and Mexico. The city is a hotspot for traffickers and gangs, and is one of the nation's most violent cities.
"In Buenaventura alone, there were 7,000 to 10,000 people displaced in this midst of these criminal activities which can be very, very violent.there is an urban humanitarian crisis unfolding," said Kang.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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