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Despite peace talks, conflict continues to affect Colombians

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Despite peace talks, conflict continues to affect Colombians

Despite peace talks, conflict continues to affect Colombians

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Kienyke.com // Private Archive – Universidad de Los Andes

Despite the fact that the Government of Colombia maintained bilateral ceasefires with two of the country’s main armed groups for almost all of last year, the civilian population continues to be affected by the armed conflict, revealed Amnesty International. in its annual report.

“Despite peace talks and ceasefires, the civilian population continued to be affected by the armed conflict and human rights violations, including forced displacement of a large number of people,” the entity noted in the document.

The organization warned that violence “disproportionately” hits indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities, and that “aggressions against human rights defenders” persist, despite the Government’s announcements of protection measures.

Currently, the Government is negotiating peace and has bilateral ceasefires with the guerrilla of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and with the Central General Staff (EMC), the largest dissident of the former FARC that is divided.

Armed conflict

The Somos Defensores Program reported that between January and September 2023 There were 632 attacks against social leaders, of which 123 were murders, according to figures collected by AI.

Likewise, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned that in the first 11 months of last year 163,719 people had been forced to relocate in Colombia.

“The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights affirmed that, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 45% of all displacement victims in 2023 were people of African descent and 32% indigenous,” Amnesty added.

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AI also warned of the violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) committed in the country, such as that between July 2022 and June 2023 the UN Mine Action Service registered 119 victims of antipersonnel landmines, including four minors and 33 Afro-descendants and indigenous people.

Other forms of violence

During the first year of the Government of the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, between August 2022 and July 2023, There were 191 cases of police violence, which represented a decrease of more than 58% compared to the same previous period.

Regarding gender violence, the Regional Information Network on LGBTI Violence reported 21 murders of people with this condition in Colombia in 2023 “in the category of ‘violence due to prejudice’ (violence that seeks to cause harm to people due to negative perception about their gender identity or sexual orientation),” the information added.

The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP), meanwhile, suggested that President Petro take measures to enable the work of the media and promote freedom of the press, Instead of creating a hostile environment, as he has done with the confrontations he has had on social networks with representatives of the media and journalists.

In total, according to FLIP, 398 attacks against press freedom had been registered in Colombia between January and October 2023, including 132 cases of threats, 41 of harassment and 51 of stigmatization.

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With information from Agencia EFE.

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