Flash Update No. 1 – Mass intra-urban displacement in Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca)


According to preliminary information provided by UNHCR, at least 2,516 people from 629 families from comunes 3 and 4 in the Pacific port city of Buenaventura, Valle, have displaced from their neighborhoods to the local headquarters of Caritas Colombia following threats by Post-demobilization Armed Groups (PDAGs) and pressure caused by repeated armed confrontations between these groups. The displacements began early in the morning on Wedensday 6 November and affected the areas of La Playita, Alfonso López, Calle El Ramiro and Viento Libre. The community of La Playita had displaced earlier in February of this year for similar reasons and between October and November of 2012 more than 5,000 displaced from eight neighborhoods in Buenaventura.

As of 6 November, the IDPs have received no humanitarian assistance. Food and non-food aid is urgent, as well as an adequate shelter. The IDPs are arriving at the headquarters of Caritas Colombia which lacks capacity to attend a large displacement. An IDP census is important in order to make a request to the national authorities, the size of the displacement is beyond local response capacities.

The situation will likely worsen in the coming days taking into account the difficulty in finding shelter arrangements for such a large group of people and the rainy season which brings heavy downpours almost daily. PDAG armed confrontations are likely to continue in several areas in the city, and the number of IDPs may increase.

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