"Chocó is in a condition of subhumanity," said Efe Dilon Martínez, executive secretary of the Departmental Civic Committee for the Salvation and Dignity of Chocó, an organization leading since last Wednesday an indefinite strike to demand that the government complies with the commitments it made in August last year. After eight months, the government "has only met 5%" of the agreement, and this has again brought out to the streets the people of Chocó, a department which by the end of 2015 registered an extreme poverty index of 37.1%, and poverty of 62.8% compared to 7.9 and 27.8% for the country as a whole, according to official figures. Martinez also lamented that the department faces "more conflict" than it had before the beginnings of the peace process. El Pilón
Digital Magazine PACIFISTA! spoke with Mauricio Morales, a photographer who is with over 300 people displaced from their homes in Alto Baudó, a mostly Afrocolombian community in the department of Chocó. The displacement of last week became known because it involved about 500 people. But if it had been only 50 or 10 ... Would I be here? Would we haven known about it? PACIFISTA!
"The last thing a resident told us was that one of the paramilitaries who entered Domingodó was frantically looking for people in some houses. It's known is that the Gaitanistas took a villager, who was released a few minutes later," a member of a social organization told Espectador, asking to remain anonymous. El Espectador
Although its inhabitants voted massively in favor of peace in the plebiscite, in Chocó people still live under fear and suffer the pain of war." Paradoxically, in Chocó, where war was felt with the most intensity, 98% voted 'yes' -- in favor of peace and yet we continue fleeing bullets, abandoning the territories", says Father Jaime Zapata.
In this sense, they warn that the peace process is "losing credibility" to the perception of "certain degree of permissiveness of sectors of the Armed Forces and other State agencies regarding the actions of these armed groups." "The population in general, shows signs of despair due to the lack security and lack of effectiveness from the authorities. [...] The Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman's Office and the UNHCR have warned of the presence of armed groups and the occupation of the territories vacated by FARC when demobilized, which has triggered community confinements, forced displacement and threats. Colombia Plural
The United Nations warned last year that the local Afro-Colombian and indigenous populations needed "urgent" protection. Authorities say there are 6,000 people displaced and 7,000 confined to their homes in the surrounding Choco region for fear of violence.
"We cannot guarantee that the peace process will end the violence," says Luis Carlos Arce, governor of Alto Tumando, another settlement of displaced people.
"The violence of hunger, its impact on education and health -- that is not going to end."