Colombia’s conflict far from over: Red Cross

From Colombia Reports

Colombia is divided in two. One part of the country is producing and prosperous, while the other is suffering the consequences of an armed conflict that is far from over, the delegate of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombia said Sunday.

According to Jordi Raich, the ICRC’s head in the country, “Colombia is a complex country where there is a fabric of dynamics taking place at the same time. There’s a rich Colombia, which produces and is prosperous, and on the side there is the violent Colombia, which suffers an armed conflict, one of the oldest in the world, with very important humanitarian consequences.”

The two Colombia’s don’t always see eye to eye said Raich. “They are separating because in a way they are like two realities that at times have meeting points, but also points wherein they don’t recognize each other.”

“This is due to [the fact that] the violence increasingly is taking place in places that are relatively inaccessible,” the Red Cross representative said.

Raich said the Red Cross is working mostly in conflict zones like on the Venezuelan border, and the south and southwest of the country where Colombia’s armed forces continue to fight rebel groups like the FARC and ELN, but also in cities like Medellin and Buenaventura where urban violence is sparked by the presence of neo-paramilitary groups.

According to the Red Cross delegate, Colombia’s violence “is far from over. The conflict is alive and coming with very serious consequences.”

While Raich said that parties involved in the conflict have given signs “that there exists a certain will to reach a deal someday,” but what i lacking is international support “to turn words into actions.”

“What is lacking is that everybody makes this extra effort needed … to come to terms so that all good intentions become reality,” said the Red Cross representative.

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