Colombia to speed nearly $400 million in social investment for violence-hit region

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia said on Tuesday it would speed social investment of $391.6 million earmarked for southwestern Cauca province, where indigenous communities and political candidates have been recent targets for violence by crime gangs and dissident rebels. The spending will include subsidies for poor families, road construction, help for economic projects and improvements in health coverage, education and nutrition. Twelve people have been killed in two attacks by armed groups in the province over the past week, including seven members of indigenous communities. In September, mayoral candidate Karina Garcia was killed along with five others in the town of Suarez. “The common enemy is drug trafficking and that’s why the idea is to fight drug trafficking not just with closer security but also socially,” Peace Commissioner Miguel Ceballos told journalists. President Ivan Duque last week ordered the armed forces to send 2,500 personnel as reinforcements to the province, a hub for the production and transport of coca and marijuana, joining the 8,000 soldiers already stationed there. Some communities in Cauca, where the indigenous population numbers 300,000, oppose the increase in the military presence within their territory and have demanded more social spending. Their communities are frequently targeted – by crime gangs, the National Liberation Army rebel group and guerrilla fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) who refused to demobilize under a 2016 peace deal – for resisting drug trafficking and illegal mining within ancestral lands Figures from the United Nations show that some 50 killings have taken place in indigenous territory in Colombia so far this year.

Written by ideasexplorer

An incurably curious mind that loves to learn about culture, society, history, the environment, and so much more! Join me in exploring the ideas of yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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: