Published On: Thu, Feb 13th, 2014

Indigenous communities in Colombia’s north experiencing a famine: Ombudsman

(Photo: Defensoria Del Pueblo)

Nearly 40,000 indigenous people are being affected by a “famine” in Colombia’s arid northern state of La Guajira, an issue exacerbated by the closure of the nearby Venezuelan border, according to Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office.

The Ombudsman made an “urgent appeal” to national and regional authorities to solve the issue affecting the indigenous Wayuu community living in 13 districts of the Alta Guajira — the northernmost region of the state – which sources much of its basic food items from the Venezuelan border

“There is a big dependence by the local communities, for geographic reasons, on the food and goods from Venezuela, so what we’re asking the authorities to take steps and implement mechanisms and public policies to provide the communities with food from Colombia,” a spokesperson for the Ombudsman’s Office told Colombia Reports.

He added that although there are obvious geographic and access difficulties, the government must guarantee the proper supply of food to the region’s population.

Concerns for the remote communities and its inhabitants has been growing since the Venezuelan government decided to restrict the movement of food to Colombia, which has spawned a large black market economy in the area.

“There is an indication that the supplies that were coming in from Venezuela to the communities has diminished greatly and in some cases not coming in at all,” the spokesperson said.

The mainly Indigenous Wayuu communities located in the remote desert areas of the northern Guajira, some of which can be found on the Venezuelan border, lack developed roads and transport systems that heavily impact the availability of basic goods and services.

The appeal to the government was made after officials visited the area this week and reported a serious lack of basic food items in the municipality of Uribia –- known as the indigenous capital of Colombia.

The Ombudsman has also asked the local and departmental governments take steps to overcome the situation, highlighting that 70% of those affected are women and children.

At the end of January a report was made to the Ombudsmans office by an Wayuu leader where he stated that three children had died in a small community due to malnutrition, and added that “there are a number of minors who die from malnutrition (in the communities), but are not reported to the authorities.”

Although the relations between Venezuela and Colombia have been strained for the past 10 years, they have marginally improved since Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos agreed to set up high-level groups to discuss energy, trade and security.

MORE: Santos meets with Venezuelan counterpart

Sources

The post Indigenous communities in Colombia’s north experiencing a famine: Ombudsman appeared first on Colombia News | Colombia Reports.


For website development, online marketing and promotion,
check out The Q Media


If you enjoyed this piece, please SHARE IT so other readers can find it and enjoy it.

Recent Posts

TCO bottom

July 1, 2016, Comments Off on TCO bottom

TCO Bottom2

July 1, 2016, Comments Off on TCO Bottom2

TCO Sidebar

July 1, 2016, Comments Off on TCO Sidebar
According to experts, the nations most rocked by climate phenomenon El Niño were Colombia and Venezuela with losses mostly in the agricultural sector, which reflect in their economies

Colombia, Venezuela are South America’s countries most hit by El Niño

June 29, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia, Venezuela are South America’s countries most hit by El Niño
President Santos and FARC leader 'Timochenko' with the signed agreement

The Peace Agreement and Colombia’s Criminal Dynamics

June 29, 2016, Comments Off on The Peace Agreement and Colombia’s Criminal Dynamics
César López plays an Escopetarra at Bolívar Square in Bogotá

The Escopetarra

June 27, 2016, Comments Off on The Escopetarra
maria_claudia_lacouture

Colombia wants Pacific Alliance to negotiate trade with post-Brexit UK

June 27, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia wants Pacific Alliance to negotiate trade with post-Brexit UK
farc_weapons

Where Colombia’s FARC rebels will be demobilizing and disarming (map)

June 27, 2016, Comments Off on Where Colombia’s FARC rebels will be demobilizing and disarming (map)
europe_flag

Colombia peso gains, stocks drop amid Brexit market scare

June 24, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia peso gains, stocks drop amid Brexit market scare
john_kerry

US celebrates ceasefire in Colombia

June 24, 2016, Comments Off on US celebrates ceasefire in Colombia
uber_large

Colombia begins clamping down on Uber; 1200 vehicles seized

June 23, 2016, Comments Off on Colombia begins clamping down on Uber; 1200 vehicles seized
Party in Colombia