World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Fighting Threatens Colombia’s Indigenous Peoples

Fighting Threatens Existence Of Colombia’s Indigenous Peoples, UN Warns

New York, Apr 22 2005

Colombia’s indigenous peoples, caught up in the fighting between the Government, rebels and armed militias, are facing tragedy as violent attacks and forced displacement increase, with fears that some smaller and more vulnerable groups and their cultures may actually disappear, the United Nations refugee agency warned today.

In the past week, fighting between the Colombian Army and leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) uprooted some 3,500 Nasa people in the south-west, while in the north-west, some 4,000 Embera are at imminent risk of displacement because of fighting between guerrillas and paramilitary groups, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home UNHCR reported.

“The tragedy afflicting the indigenous peoples remains largely invisible,” spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva. “They often become displaced within their remote regions of origin as they try to preserve ties to their ancestral lands, or else they flee into other remote areas where they cannot be easily detected.”

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), a UNHCR partner, has reported the murder or disappearance of more than 20 indigenous leaders so far this year.

The Andean country’s more than 80 indigenous groups together make up a population of just under 1 million people. Although they represent only 2 to 3 per cent of the total population, they make up as much as 8 per cent of the more than 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Virtually all the indigenous groups have been victims of forced displacement or are at serious risk of being displaced from their ancestral lands.

Since indigenous identity and culture are closely linked to the land, these communities suffer irreversible damage when forced to flee. This can mean loss of traditional and cultural patterns, including language, and a dramatic deterioration of lifestyle, UNHCR said.

The warning was the latest in a series, focusing most recently on the north-western province of Choco, where irregular armed groups have increased their activities since the beginning of this year, imposing blockades to stop food, medicine, fuel and other vital supplies from reaching some communities.

But UNHCR and other UN agencies were today visiting the south-western province of Cauca to evaluate the humanitarian needs and support relief efforts by civilian authorities following this week’s displacement of the Nasas, which observers on the ground agree could quickly reach as many as 5,000, if fighting continues.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news