One Big Thing: Should humanitarian action be taken in Colombia?
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What is it?
- Several armed groups in Colombia have enforced Coronavirus measures by threatening violence and death to those who do not comply. This is largely due to weak governmental presence in many regions which has led to a similarly weak response to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months.
- More than 300,000 Colombians have fled their homes due to violent conflict across the country. These internally displaced people are often forced live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to food at water, making social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures difficult.
Why is it important?
- Colombians have been subject to violent conflict for the past 45 years from guerilla groups including the FARC and the government. Both sides have repeatedly committed atrocities and the Colombian people have been left to suffer.
- The lack of state presence of the Columbian government outside of cities has allowed narco-traffickers to expand their authority and illicit businesses. These groups often use established routes to export their narcotics to the rest of the world.
- Colombia’s geographic proximity to Venezuela has also meant that it has been forced to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence and economic collapse. These people are subjected to similar conditions as Colombian IDPs, leaving them equally vulnerable to COVID-19.
What can you do?
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