The increase in displacement comes amid threats, killings and violence between armed groups, according to the human rights ombudsman.
More than 27,000 people were displaced in Colombia in the first quarter of 2021, the country’s human rights ombudsman said, as the South American nation grapples with a wave of violence.
People have been driven from their homes amid threats, killings, forced recruitment by armed gangs and clashes between armed groups in lawless areas, the mediator said on Monday.
The displacement in the first quarter of 2021 jumped 177% compared to the same period last year.
Colombia has witnessed an upsurge in violence amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the United Nations saying in February that the country “continues to face rampant violence” throughout 2020.
“In various parts of Colombia, there has been an intensification of violence and increased territorial and social control by non-state armed groups and criminal groups,” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. man in his annual report report.
The UN said it had documented an increased number of massacres and human rights violations against human rights defenders last year in areas without a strong state presence.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also said in March that Colombia faced at least five persistent conflicts with armed groups that affected the daily lives of Colombians.
The group reported that at least 389 people – mostly civilians – were killed by explosive devices in 2020, the highest total since 2016.
The Colombian government signed a peace accord with the left-wing rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, which aimed to end a conflict that has killed more than 260,000 people and displaced millions. But the violence is gradually increasing.
At the end of March, the Government accused FARC dissidents – who rejected the 2016 peace agreement – for detonating a car bomb in the town of Corinto, about 60 km south of Cali, in western Colombia.
The attack injured dozens, including several officials.
Around the same time, one of the most notorious ex-FARC leaders urged the United States to help Colombia is implementing the peace agreement.
In a letter, Rodrigo Londono underlined the continued killings of veterans and social leaders and called on the US Congress to “call again on the Colombian government to take a final decision to implement the Peace Agreement comprehensively”.
He also urged the United States to encourage Bogota “to begin the promising process of development of our country to adopt lasting proposals to eradicate drug trafficking, modernize the territory and protect life”.