Over 500 Colombians Flee from Villages due to Armed Confrontations

By Dialogo
January 15, 2013

At least 532 people were displaced from a town in the Colombian district of Chocó (west) due to confrontations between armed groups, official sources informed on January 10.

“This massive displacement took place on January 8, when these armed groups were confronted by a territorial dispute in the community, causing panic among the population,” the municipality of Litoral del San Juan explained on its website.

After leaving their homes, about 7,200 displaced inhabitants are still sheltered in shelters in Docordó, the Colombian government’s Unit for Integral Attention and Reparation of Victims explained in a statement.

The unit is investigating the identity of the confronted groups involved in the area.

The displaced belong to an African-Colombian community. Lately, indigenous Wounann communities nearby have also been affected by violence, and they have been encountering problems while moving around in the area to get food, the municipality informed.

Colombia has over 3.7 million displaced people, one of the highest figures in the world, because of criminal gangs, leftist guerrillas, and other actors in the armed conflict, which the country has been enduring for close to fifty years.