AMERICA/COLOMBIA – Human rights violations have intensified in Chocò and western Antioquia instead of decreasing

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Santa Fe de Antioquia – “Unfortunately, the cry of the communities has not been heard and, consequently, the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have intensified instead of decreasing, therefore only a global humanitarian action will be able to respond to the scourges that occur in the Chocó department and in western Antioquia”. This is the complaint contained in the report that summarizes the results of the six Humanitarian Missions carried out during this year 2021 in 11 municipalities of the Chocó department and in some municipalities of western Antioquia, by the Catholic Church and other Churches, by ethnic-territorial organizations, international humanitarian workers, institutions and social organizations. The humanitarian crisis that this part of the Colombian territory has been experiencing for a long time is serious and complex, highlighted the organizations that participated in the Missions during a meeting with the media. “The results of these missions, their reports, requests and recommendations – is written in the document sent to Fides – constitute not only an action to inform and make known what is happening in the affected territories, but should be binding on both armed protagonists and for the State, as it is a question of guaranteeing and protecting the life and survival of the civilian population who find themselves in the midst of the conflict”. Humanitarian Missions were carried out at the request of communities and ethnic authorities. The delegations visited the territories most affected by the armed conflict, listened to and comforted the people, noting the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law suffered. The report underlines that having carried out six Humanitarian Missions in 2021 in the most impoverished territories of the country, “is an indication of the serious crisis caused by the reconfiguration of the armed conflict, the abandonment of the state and the slow progress of the Peace Agreement”.
The participants in the Humanitarian Missions then made a series of requests to resolve the serious crisis. Among these: they ask the armed protagonists to respect the norms of international humanitarian law; urge the Colombian government to resume the path of political dialogue and negotiation with all illegal armed groups; call for the right to free mobility and safety of women leaders, leaders, communities and organizations to be guaranteed; the fundamental right of all displaced and confined persons must be guaranteed to a minimum; it is urgent to fully address the serious humanitarian, social, economic and environmental crisis that the territories of Chocó and Antioquia are going through; call on the national government to firmly implement the 2016 Peace Agreement and to maintain the option of a negotiated solution to the armed conflict.
They then ask the international community, international organizations and human rights defense organizations in general, to continue to make the humanitarian crisis visible and to put pressure on the national government to obtain effective guarantees of human, ethnic and territorial rights.