Nunca Mas (Never Again), documentary on Colombia’s internally displaced.
The documentary above shows the pain and hardships suffered by Colombia’s internal refugees, many who come from the Chocó region near the border with Panama.
The paramilitaries have accused many Chocoanos of being guerrilla sympathizers and uprooted them; in reality, the paramilitaries covet the land because Chocó is a drug and arms corridor.
In the drug corridors, the central government is distant. The government’s soldiers patrol nervously while the armed groups — paramilitaries, BACRIM, FARC, ELN — wield influence and terror.
According to the government’s figures, Colombia has 4.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), based on monitoring that started in 2000. NGOs, which begin their count from 1985, put the number at 5.7 million.
The internal refugees arrive in inner-cities to overcrowded shelters. They move on to poor and unsafe neighborhoods controlled by drug-dealing gangs where they lack food, schools, and health services.
The number of internal refugees are increasing, and the government’s programs for them are not enough, often underfunded.
The Coordinacion Nacional de Desplazados brings together displaced persons organizations from 17 departments and seeks direct dialogue with the government on solutions for the displaced. Colombia is probably the world’s most dangerous country for leaders of displaced persons organizations and for the local NGOs that help them.
A woman in the documentary says, “We used to have our necessities covered by the land.” Another added, “the violence has been against us, the civilians, against the campesinos.”