Tumaco: Ground Zero of a Confusing Peace; Blood Continues to Flow Despite People’s Will for Peace (S)
It’s a long list: dissident militias, paramilitary groups, drug traffickers, tensions in replacing coca crops, a deep institutional crisis, the struggle for power … “The Pearl of the Pacific” continues to bleed, although the people want to believe in peace.
The killings, the armed groups that are taking over the spaces vacated by FARC after their concentration in the Transitional Zones, and the threats and physical attacks by paramilitaries are some of the risks and fears that emerge from the conversation with ten neighbors, social leaders, and Public officials of Tumaco. That, and the possible problems of coexistence of the communities with FARC’s transitional zones and, above all, the situation of the ‘dissidents’, about 330 men, former FARC militias, once recruited by the guerrillas who sought to expand territorial control but that today it does not recognize as part of their group to be included in the peace process. Most are young people, without a way to a job, without a certain future. And, along with all this, and in the middle of it all, drug trafficking and cultivation of coca — Tumaco is the municipality that produces the most coca in the country — and a way out for growers; and, of course, the institutional and political crisis of the municipality.
The report of the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation states that the urban area of Tumaco remains, “one of the sad reflections of institutional and governmental neglect.” Citizens of this area of the country live in “a context of basic needs pressing to be met”, which added to the limited access to economic activities strengthens and encourages citizens’s “recognition of the culture of illegality as normal, valid and even appreciated.” Colombia Plural