No less than seven non-international armed conflicts are jeopardizing the survival of rural, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in Colombia. In just the first half of 2023, we recorded the deaths of more than 100 people who had been killed by explosive devices – people like you and me who were simply walking home but found themselves in the path of a landmine, an explosive remnant of war, or some launched or detonated device. Their lives were cut short and those of their family members have been forever altered.
Other people have survived, their bodies marked with the visible scars of war and weighed down by the psychological harm known only to those who have experienced the devastation of armed conflict.
People living in the areas most affected by the violence have seen their quality of life erode. Between January and June 2023, thousands of people were forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind. Uncertainty reigned in several departments as people moved around in search of safety. Nariño Department, for example, saw a sharp increase in the number of individuals and groups on the move. In other departments, such as Cauca, Bolívar, Sucre and Caquetá, people’s fear of ending up as just-another-casualty-statistic drove many to simply leave their home region behind.
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