UN warns that Colombia continues under a climate of insecurity and violence

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The United Nations Organization has shown this Wednesday its “deep concern “at the recent collective murders that have occurred in Colombia despite the “reduction in violence” thanks to the peace accords that the then government signed in 2016 with the defunct guerrilla FARC.

“We continue to be deeply concerned about the insecurity that affects the lives of so many Colombians in areas of the country,” said the United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo.

In an event organized by the Government of Colombia, DiCarlo and the special representative of the Secretary General and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Mario Ruiz Massieu, have agreed to highlight that the Latin American country is experiencing a “crucial moment” in its recent history, after the signing of the peace accords in the quest to end five decades of armed conflict.

“The murders and threats against social leaders, ex-combatants and women and young people are a threat to peace,” DiCarlo denounced in relation to the recent massacres that have taken place in the west of the country, where armed gangs are fighting for income. of the illicit crops left behind by the dissolved FARC guerrillas.

DiCarlo regretted that despite the COVID-19 health crisis, the violence committed by the rest of the illegal armed groups, be it the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) or the paramilitary and drug trafficking groups, “has continued unabated”, especially due to “the presence of illicit economies”, the limited institutional presence and the scarce development opportunities in these regions.

For this reason, it has also endorsed the request of the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, for a global ceasefire “to give relief to the most vulnerable populations and facilitate efforts against the new coronavirus pandemic.”

While DiCarlo acknowledges “the efforts of the authorities,” he points out that “more needs to be done.” So far in 2020, the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (INDEPAZ) has reported on the murder of 166 social leaders and defenders of Human Rights, in addition to 36 former FARC guerrillas subject to the peace accords.

The departments where this type of violence is most suffered are Cauca, Antioquia and Nariño, in different parts of western Colombia. In total, there are 971 people killed since the peace accords until mid-2020, in addition to 200 former members of the demobilized FARC guerrilla.

For his part, Ruiz Massieu has appealed to the commitment of all the actors involved, since carrying out “any peace agreement” is “a complex, long-term issue and not without difficulties.”

“Just as the communities cry out for development, they ask for strategies to improve protection and security in the regions, the integral presence of the State is necessary to consolidate trust, governability, and the social rule of law,” he stated.

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