Colombia

Colombia: OCHA Humanitarian Situation Report 5 - 12 Jun 2007

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INDIGENOUS KILLED IN CÓRDOBA

2 INDIGENOUS WERE REPORTED KILLED

2 indigenous were reported killed, allegedly by FARC, by the Embera - Katío communities on May 31st (indigenous rural reservation in Tierralta municipality, Córdoba). The Regional Ombudsman's Office, along with local authorities, jointly visited the indigenous reservation and stated their concern given attacks had not been reported against the Embera - Katío over the past two years. UNHCR publicly rejected the homicides. It is noteworthy to recall the Embera - Katío from Tierralta reservations are protected by the Inter-American Human Rights Court since 2001, after the indigenous group asked for protection measures to face the situation of mass displacements and human rights' violations.

AT-RISK COMMUNITIES IN BOGOTÁ AND SOACHA

150 INHABITANTS -MOSTLY IDPS- FACE CONTINUED THREATS

The Early Warning System of the Ombudsman's Office issued a new alert for 45 neighborhoods and 7 rural marginal areas in Bogotá and Soacha, where nearly 150 inhabitants -mostly IDPs- face continued threats, and are victims of forced recruitment, intra-urban displacement and confrontations between illegal armed groups. According to the source, 8 self-defense groups and 1 FARC's urban militia fight over control of the areas, causing terror through homicides, rapes, delinquency, drug trafficking and threats against community leaders and candidates for next elections. Preliminary information reports 8 homicides in the last week in the neighborhood known as the "Comuna IV". The Ombudsman's Office urged the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs, and the national and city's governments to take action and protect the affected population.

DISPLACEMENT RISK IN VALLE DEL CAUCA

IMMINENT RISK OF MASS DISPLACEMENT

According to the Catholic Church, the entrance of new illegal armed groups to the municipalities of Buga and Tuluá in the department of Valle del Cauca generates a high risk of mass displacement for the population in the rural areas. Foreseeing this situation, the Local Committee for IDPs Integral Assistance emitted a declaration of imminent risk of mass displacement in order to activate land protection mechanisms. OAS carried out a verifying mission in the two towns whereas UNHCHR prioritised this region for further missions.

COMMON GRAVES FOUND IN URABÁ REGION

THE REMAINS OF 21 VICTIMS OF PARAMILITARIES FOUND IN COMMON GRAVES

The General Attorney's Office found the remains of 21 victims of paramilitaries in common graves throughout the Urabá region, in the municipalities of Necoclí, Turbo, San Juan de Urabá, Apartadó and Chigorodó. The corpses found in the town of Necoclí belonged to 7 members of the Zenú indigenous communities reported missing.

NARIÑO FOLLOW-UP

MASS DISPLACEMENT EMERGENCIES CONTINUE

After three weeks since the mass displacement in Cumbitara, 107 IDPs remain settled in a rural area of the town due to strong confrontations between FARC and the New Generation Self-Defenses. Nearly 80% of the roads communicating the rural areas of the municipality are planted with mines, restricting the entrance of food and health aid. UNHCR and the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar arrived to the area in the last weeks and informed on the serious health conditions of IDPs, particularly those of children. 120 people were able to displace to the town of Barbacoas, in the lowlands of the Department.

Meanwhile, the emergency in El Charco continues after more than 2 months from the mass displacement of nearly 7000 people. ICRC continues delivering aid and monitoring the situation, and reported that almost 600 families remain displaced in humanitarian situation report difficult shelter conditions while other 1600 are at high risk of displacement. Acción Social gave economic compensation to 195 inhabitants of the two municipalities, through the Violence Victims Assistance Programme.

78 out of the 177 families that displaced to Roberto Payán municipality remain in the town's urban areas according to information received by OCHA field office; while an undetermined number migrated to the towns of Olaya Herrera and Tumaco. Although many returned without security conditions, OCHA estimates 4000 people are in high risk of a new displacement in that area. The local Ombudsman's Office continues the registry of IDPs and the overstretched local Government is providing emergency assistance. Acción Social and MSF delivered food and non food aid for IDPs. As a prevention measure, the local Government and the local Ombudsman's Office issued a press release declaring an emergency due to armed confrontations between FARC and the Army.

CAUCA FOLLOW-UP

58 DISPLACED FAMILIES RETURNED

After the Local Committee for Integral IDPs Assistance verified clashes and threats had ceased, 58 displaced families returned to their places of origin from the town Lopez de Micay.

VALLE DEL CAUCA FOLLOW-UP

PUBLIC ORDER AND HUMANITARIAN CONDITIONS SERIOUSLY AFFECTING CIVILIANS

The Congress' Human Rights Commission held a public audience in Buenaventura city and assessed public order and humanitarian conditions seriously affecting civilians due to an escalation of armed clashes and violence among illegal armed actors. Local social organisations claimed authorities to make available a contingency plan for mass displacement and IHL breaches; establish a permanent verifying commission; and have OAS report on the demobilisation process in the area. Furthermore, afro-Colombian communities demanded affirmative actions and a differential approach at all phases of IDPs' assistance. Congressmen declared Buenaventura a "Peace Territory" and urged armed actors to comply with IHL and cease attacks against civilians.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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