“The Colombian state and the Duke government remain indifferent and without social sympathy”: Bishop of Quibados

U.S.A."The Colombian state and the Duke government remain indifferent...

file photo. Guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) rest in front of a house near the San Juan River in the jungles of Chocó Department, Colombia, August 31, 2017. Reuters / Federico Rios

The Bishop of Quibdo, Monsignor Juan Carlos Barreto, condemned this Thursday that the Colombian state and the government of Iván Duque remain “indifferent and without social sympathy” in the face of the grave humanitarian emergency occurring in Chocó and the Department of Western Antioquia.

This was announced this afternoon during the presentation of a report at the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, which evidences the work done by 11 humanitarian missions made up of social organizations, international organizations and members of the Catholic Church, indicating the absence of the state . and a recurrence of violence in these areas of the Colombian Pacific.

“There is abandonment of the state at all levels and precedents. Well, the Colombian state does not guarantee basic rights in matters of health, education, decent housing, productivity and marketing, entertainment and sports, food security and public services. In this perspective, it can be affirmed that the state is the main culprit in these areas.”, insisted Monsignor Barreto.

In this sense, he pointed out that there is an ineffective presence on the part of the public force to exercise substantial territorial control of these populations, in which indigenous, Afro-descendant and peasant communities coexist, and in some cases “this is the largest in the country”. Forms in clear conditions of collusion with the Clan del Golfo, considered a large criminal gang and drug traffickers.

Similarly, he indicated that this humanitarian crisis is not new to the residents of these regions, whether it is the product of the effects of armed conflict, natural disasters and climate change, or as a result of the implementation of public policies and “economic megaprojects, particularly Mined, wrong and without consultation, which has created conflict and social crisis”.

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,The findings identified in humanitarian missions match complaints and announcements made by organizations such as the United Nations, the Office of the Ombudsman, INDEPAZ and HRW.They have also been the subject of recurring complaints by the Choco Indigenous Divisional Table, the OIA, the Catholic Church and other churches,” said the bishop of Quibdo.

As identified by members of the humanitarian mission who visited more than 11 municipalities in the region, residents face threats against leaders and communities, limits on mobility and productivity, violations of the regional autonomy of ethnic communities, individual forced displacement and Collectively, face imprisonment. , sexual violence on the basis of gender, forced recruitment of minors and establishment of anti-personnel mines.

Similarly, a permanent confrontation was identified between armed actors, particularly between members of the ELN and Clan del Golfo, although an early presence of FARC dissidents has also begun to be seen, with territorial disputes over the routes of drug trafficking. The focus is on control, the situation in illegal mining, extortion, arms smuggling and current and future megaprojects.

,All of the above are destroying the cultural, organizational and community fabric and subjecting communities to famine and physical and cultural destruction. Lives of black, indigenous and farming communities are at high risk, In general, communities experience high and complex psychosocial effects such as fear, abandonment, sadness, anguish and uncertainty,” concluded monsignor Juan Carlos Barreto.

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