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UN report reveals 6.5% increase in massacres in Colombia in 2023

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UN report reveals 6.5% increase in massacres in Colombia in 2023

Massacres increased in Colombia for the fourth consecutive year in 2023, when there were 98, according to the annual report presented this Wednesday by the UN Office for Human Rights, which also revealed a decrease in the murder of social leaders, since last year There were 105 homicides.

In a recent report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia noted a worrying 6.5% increase in verified massacres compared to the previous year. Juliette de Rivero, representative in Colombia of the UN for Human Rights, announced that “In 2023, UN Human Rights verified 98 massacres, which represents an increase of 6.5% compared to the massacres verified in 2022.”

The document highlights that the overwhelming majority of these atrocities were perpetrated by illegal armed groups, responsible for 93% of the cases, according to the UN investigation. In the presentation of the report, de Rivero expressed his concern: “From our assessment of the situation in 2023, there is concern that despite there being a decrease in some indicators of violence, territorial expansion and violent strategies of social and territorial control continue. non-state armed groups and criminal organizations with serious consequences for human rights.”

In addition to the massacres and assassinations of social leaders, the analysis highlights other forms of violence, including the forced displacement of thousands of people. In total, 62,967 people were displaced in the country during 2023, while 87,646 were confined to their homes.

Impunity continues to be an alarming factor in Colombia, perpetuating the cycle of violence against human rights defenders. De Rivero warned that “The consolidation of the power of groups in some territories represents a risk for governability in Colombia and for the protection of the human rights of the population.”

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Despite the Colombian government’s efforts to negotiate with armed groups and improve security, the UN highlights the need for “stronger action to address these human rights violations and ensure the protection of the vulnerable population in the country.”

The report also reveals that violence has expanded geographically, currently affecting 206 municipalities in the 32 Colombian departments, with Tame, in the department of Arauca, being the most affected. The situation of the Nasa indigenous people in Cauca also generates concern.

During last year’s municipal and departmental elections, 46 political leaders were murdered, including 11 candidates, according to the study.

To conclude, the UN Office recognized the steps taken by the current Colombian Government towards human rights, but recommended “strengthening governability and the rule of law in the territories given the worrying situation of insecurity.” The implementation of new security, dismantling and drug policies was suggested as a key measure.

«Even if it is negotiating with armed groups, it must guarantee security in the regions and respond when attacks or human rights violations are committed. And in order to reach the most forgotten areas with social policies and also with the will to change the dynamics of social and economic investment in these areas,” said De Rivero.

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