Colombia’s minorities still face armed conflict: Amnesty

BOGOTA, Nov 23:  Colombia’s landmark peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels was supposed to mean peace for all — but it has made little difference to indigenous and Afro-Colombian minorities, Amnesty International said today.
A year on, the deal is having a “very limited impact” on the lives of minority communities in Choco – a department where 60 percent of the population are armed conflict victims.
“Although the number of civilian deaths has gone down since the Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC was signed, armed conflict is still very much the reality for millions across the country,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International.
“Colombia is at a major crossroads,” he added. “If the government fails to take this opportunity to protect communities who have been terrorised by armed groups for so long, the future will continue to look bleak.”
The peace accord signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in November 2016 ended a conflict which lasted 53 years.
In addition to the human cost of the violence — which left 260,000 people dead and more than 60,000 missing — it also had serious environmental consequences.
President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts to end his country’s conflict — but he insisted his work was not finished. (AGENCIES)


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