Red Cross: Violence, killings, and disappearances on the rise in Colombia, affecting civilians

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At least five continuing armed conflicts are driving a resurgence of cases of disappearances, killings, sexual attacks, attacks on healthcare workers and facilities, as well as a rise in the number of people being killed or injured by explosive devices in 2020, reports the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, in findings released this week in Bogota.

Colombia has a long history of violence. More than 120,000 people have disappeared in the country in the last 60 years. In the guerilla war with FARC leftist rebels, more than 260,000 people were killed and millions displaced. The report notes 389 people were killed by explosive devices in 2020, the highest since 2016 when the country government signed a peace deal with FARC.

“In 2020, the consequences of the conflict saw an upsurge, especially compared with 2016,” said the ICRC. “Unfortunately, it is the civilian population that is paying the price of this upsurge.”

By Milan Sime Martinic