Colombia: displacement disproportionately affects the Afro community
Bogotá, 20 April 2011 – By mid-2010, more than 3.4 million people were officially registered as internally displaced (IDPs) in Colombia. Such mass displacement is fuelled by ongoing conflict between government and several guerrilla organisations, as well as the rise of new illegal armed groups and organised crime. Faced by threats of violence, Colombians frequently see no alternative other than to leave their homes. In 2009 alone, an estimated 300,000 people were displaced in Colombia. The Buenaventura district (Valle del Cauca region) is the largest recipient of internally displaced persons (IDPs), amounting to 57,212, on the Pacific coast of the country. In the first six months of 2009, 2,812 have been newly registered as IDPs. Yet real displacement is believed to be much greater as under-registration is estimated at 34 percent. The level of risk and vulnerability among IDPs remains high due to precarious living conditions, the absence of durable solutions and threats and selective killings, particularly related to the issue of land restitution. Of particular concern are Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations, which have been disproportionately affected by displacement, forced recruitment and sexual and gender-based violence. Afro-Colombians make up 17 percent of the forcibly displaced population. *The JRS Colombia website has been moved to