Violence and Pandemic Against the Population of Colombia

People walk on the street wearing masks in Bogota, Colombia on March 17, 2020 People walk on the street wearing masks in Bogota, Colombia on March 17, 2020 REUTERS/Leonardo Munoz

14 April 2020

Political actors must deal with both COVID-19 and violence  to establish the equilibrium within the country

The Coronavirus crisis is not the only concern some countries have to face. The mortality of the virus is linked to the mortality caused by violence.

The insecurity in Colombia, for example, is threatened by both COVID-19 as well as internal conflicts that force the country to commit like never before.

On Tuesday, during a Security Council meeting, the head of the United Nation Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu,  reported that political actors have to face not only Covid-19 only, but they also need to work together to fight “the epidemic of violence” against civil society leaders, human rights defenders, and former combatants. The threat of pandemic does not seem to stop violence, as in recent weeks six deaths have been reported due to the internal conflict. Also, during a National Conversation, launched by President Iván Duque Márquez, youth leaders from rural areas informed that they are afraid to speak up for their communities due to intimidation by illegal armed groups. In 2016, the UN-baked peace deal took to the end of five decades of the fight between government forces and the rebel group FARC. However, those mechanisms established by the deal will function only by ending this violence.

 As the Un mission chief said, it is fundamental that all the parties work together to fulfill the values of the Peace AgreementMr. Ruiz Massieu said the new restrictions about pandemic will pose challenges, but the parties and others involved are adapting to the situation. In addition, Colombians are working together to be united as much as possible. Even though the fight against the pandemic is hard, Mr. Ruiz Massieu said that “Peace in Colombia cannot be, and should not be, a casualty of this pandemic”.


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Author: Giulia Francescon; Editor: Shrabya Ghimire

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