The Office of the Ombudsman issues an alert on the increase in violence in Bajo Cauca, Antioquia
Recently, the Office of the Ombudsman warned about rising wave of violence in Bajo Cauca Antioquia. Carlos Camargo Assis, head of this entity, assured that the population located in this territory is exposed to a high risk of human rights violations.
Because of the above, the ombudsman asked the national government to take urgent measures and strong in the face of this phenomenon that is increasingly overflowing in Bajo Cauca Antioquia.
“It is urgent that the government takes action with a human rights approach to stop this violence. I also ask the national and local authorities to take measures to ensure the safety of the communities in the region,” said Ombudsman Carlos Camargo.
The ombudsman’s office warned that it is not only the number of acts of violence that are being recorded in this area of the country that is alarming, but also the brutality used by illegal armed groups that contest territorial control.
This entity emphasized that in this sub-region of Antioch there are reports of massacres, beheadings, disappearances, with minors among the victims.
“According to the reports gathered in August, there was a massacre of three youths, beheadings, selective killings and disappearances. There is even a known case of a young man who was taken from school and later found dead”expressed by the ombudsman’s office in recent days.
Displacement and forced recruitment of minors
In addition to the facts stated above, it is added that according to the Office of the Ombudsman, there have been more than 100 individual displacements since August.
In addition, there is a high risk of forced recruitment of children and adolescents by illegal armed groups.
According to the warning issued by this entity, the municipalities of Bajo Cauca Antioquia most affected by the rampant violence being experienced are: Catfish and Caucasusalthough there are other territories where there are also risks.
“There is a new cycle of degradation of violence in the region, in which armed criminal groups seek to generate panic among the population. Currently, the most affected municipalities are Bagre and Kavkaz, but the conflict may escalate to Taraza; Caceres and Nechi,” explained Ombudsman Carlos Camargo.
It should be noted that the issue of the escalation of violence in Bajo Cauca Antioquia is not new. Historically, this sub-region has been the target of illegal armed groups, but in addition, for about four years, the Ombudsman has already requested special attention for this territory.
From 2018 The Office of the Ombudsman issued a general six early warnings for this subregion of the Department of Antioquia. Of these, according to the organization, five are forthcoming and one is structural.
Likewise, the entity assured that Early Warning 045-2020 is currently in effect, warning of the risk to the civilian population due to the violent actions carried out by various illegal armed actors.
Among the groups that pose a greater risk to the residents of Bajo Cauca in Antioquia are the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) or Clan del Golfo, the criminal structure called Los Caparros, the National Liberation Army (ELN) and FARC dissidents. .
Residents of this sub-region have stated on various occasions that the absence of a state has enabled criminal structures to take over the territories.
“In Bajo Cauca what we really need, we have already talked about it and discussed it, is the presence of the state. I think that the dynamics with which it should be with the development programs, the ethnic approaches to the territories, this is what is needed“, expressed the social leader and member of the local organization of Antioquia, Oliver Madrid, quoted by radio station Blu.