Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | August 23, 2013

The forgotten: Colombia’s 5.7 million internally displaced people.

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.”


  1. Hi Paula, Thank you for writing this blog. I´m from Australia and I live in Colombia. Your blog has helped me to stay informed about current issues in Colombia and given me the background information necessary to understand what´s happening now. I was wondering if you could write a piece detailing the current situation concerning Monsato and whatever deal it was that was signed two years ago that has lead to all the violence and protesting that is currently happening here. I live two hours north of Bogotá where the highway has been blocked. Things are starting to come to a standstill and I´d like to know exactly why. Thanks

    • Thanks for reading, and thank you for your kind words. Keeping up the blog has also helped me understand a lot about Colombia. I will work on the Monsanto/ free trade deal/ protests topic, and I will have something soon. Again, thank you for reading. Feel free to suggest more topics if you want. Paula.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: