Hundreds displaced in ongoing battles in southwestern Colombia

Posted on Mar 31 2014 - 9:35am by Rico
(Photo: Ejercito de Colombia)

Hundreds of people have been displaced by intense fighting between armed forces and guerrillas in the southwest of Colombia, the country’s highest governmental human rights defense agency told local media on Sunday.

Colombia’s Marine Corps and the 29th Front of the FARC have been fighting near the town of Guapi, in Cauca state and the Ombudsman has serious concerns about the state of the civilian population.

“Recent events have left 185 families displaced, taking refuge in the municipal capital, including 44 of La Pampa, near populated Guapi, which constitutes a serious humanitarian situation,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

“Among the 372 displaced persons from the past hour is a 11-year-old girl with a disability.”

“Among the 372 displaced persons from the past hour is a 11 year old girl with a disability,” the human rights official said.

Adding to the chaos, on March 15, Guapi had welcomed 41 indigenous families who were displaced from another village also affected by fighting between the FARC and the Army.

Despite ongoing peace talks in Havana, Cuba, neither side has declared a lasting ceasefire for the duration of the talks.

Only a week ago, an explosion killed a policeman and left nine people injured in the town, an attack attributed to the FARC’s 29th Front.

MORE: 9 injured, 1 police officer dead following alleged FARC bombing in southwestern Colombia

In the nearby state of Nariño, the FARC have now admitted to the kidnap, torture and murder of two police officers, two weeks ago.

Guapi, Cauca

Sources

Defensoría del pueblo denuncia “grave situación humanitaria” en Guapi, Cauca (El Espectador)

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