“In Colombia Minorities still face armed conflict” – Amnesty

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A year after Colombia's landmark peace agreement with FARC rebels, the deal is having a 'very limited impact' on the lives of the country's minority communities

Colombia’s landmark peace deal
with Marxist FARC rebels was supposed to mean peace for all — but it
has made little difference to indigenous and Afro-Colombian minorities,
Amnesty International said Wednesday. A
year on, the deal is having a “very limited impact” on the lives of
minority communities in Choco – a department where 60 percent of the
population are armed conflict victims.

“Although
the number of civilian deaths has gone down since the Peace Agreement
between the Colombian government and the FARC was signed, armed conflict
is still very much the reality for millions across the country,” said
Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International.

“Colombia is at a major crossroads,” he added. “If
the government fails to take this opportunity to protect communities
who have been terrorized by armed groups for so long, the future will
continue to look bleak.”

The peace accord signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in November 2016 ended a conflict which lasted 53 years.

In
addition to the human cost of the violence — which left 260,000 people
dead and more than 60,000 missing — it also had serious environmental
consequences.

President Juan Manuel Santos was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts to end his
country’s conflict — but he insisted his work was not finished.

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