News Alerts

11 Oct 2018 | 07:18 AM UTC

Colombia: Increased violence in Bajo Cauca (Antioquia department)

Colombia News Alert

Increased violence reported in Bajo Cauca (Antioquia department) as fighting continues between paramilitary groups

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/10/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/17/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Antioquia

Event

According to officials in the Antioquia department, homicides have increased by 210 percent throughout the Bajo Cauca region between 2017 and 2018. Local sources report that 278 homicides were reported throughout the region as of Tuesday, October 2, compared to 96 homicides reported during the same period in 2017. Over 95 percent of the murders were reportedly related to increasingly violent turf wars between rival paramilitary groups. Reports by humanitarian groups indicate that several thousands of people have fled the municipalities of Tarazá and Caucasia so far this year. An increased security presence is anticipated in the area. Further clashes between rival paramilitary groups, as well as clashes between security forces and criminal organizations, are likely in the near term.

Context

Paramilitary crime organizations (BACRIM) have replaced leftist guerrillas as the most severe armed threat in Colombia. These groups have moved into territory left by the demobilized FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrilla group, leading to violent turf wars as well as assassinations of local landowners and community leaders.

Advice

Individuals in or planning travel to Colombia are advised to keep abreast of the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. Due to the presence of a number of armed groups - including drug cartels, right-wing militias, local gangs, and the ELN guerrilla group in addition to ex-FARC dissidents - Western governments generally advise against travel to various regions of the country, most notably most border areas on the frontiers with Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Panama.

 

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