Colombia: more than 15,000 displaced in 2007 —so far

The national human rights group CODHES [Council on Human Rights and Displacement] reports that more than 15,000 Colombians were displaced from their homes during the first one hundred days of 2007. The primary cause of this forced exodus has been the fighting between security forces and leftist guerrillas, while a US-led initiative of spraying narcotics crops with herbicides has also been a contributory factor. “Fumigation,” notes CODHES director Jorge Rojas, “causes the expansion of coca growth into new areas,” with both left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries forcibly ejecting farmers from these lands. Cocaine production comprises a major resource for both leftist and rightist combatants, while its capitalization is often thought to have exacerbated and entrenched this four-decade-old civil war. [Reuters, April 17]

From Security Briefs, April 17

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