The humanitarian consequences of the armed conflicts and violence afflicting Colombia continue to worsen alarmingly. The first half of 2022 saw a significant uptick in violence, adding to the suffering of the civilian population.
Between January and June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recorded 377 victims of explosive hazards,* up 43 per cent on 2021, in 16 departments – the worst affected being Cauca, Antioquia, Arauca, Norte de Santander and Meta. These five departments accounted for 67 per cent of the victims.
Analysis of the data revealed that the civilian population continues to suffer the most: 53 per cent of the victims were civilians. In addition, launched explosives and controlled detonation devices are taking a greater toll – 77 per cent of victims were injured by these devices.
The number of people directly affected by the violence shows how serious the problems are. But there are other consequences that are completely transforming the lives of the civilian population, such as psychological trauma, restrictions on people’s movements and the impossibility of earning a living.
In the first half of 2022, displacement and confinement of communities had a considerable impact on parts of the country. According to official figures**, 29,729 people were displaced in 12 departments. Areas along the Pacific coast were the worst affected, in particular Nariño department, which represented 43 per cent of the total displaced population.
A total of 41,074 people were displaced, forced to abandon their homes, mainly as a result of direct threats to their lives by armed actors. In addition, 19,210 people were confined as a result of the rise in armed violence and the presence of explosive hazards in their areas. The department of Chocó accounted for 57 per cent of the total number of people confined.
Analysis suggests that the dynamics of the violence have remained the same in some areas and become considerably worse in others. For instance, in the department of Arauca, confinement increased tenfold compared with 2021 and individual displacement shot up from 763 people in 2021 to more than 11,000 in just the first six months of this year.
Source : Icrc