RealNews

Intervention is the cure for Colombia

Medical charity fights to care for the poorest and the millions displaced by civil war. The handwritten, felt-tip markings on the wall map show the current position of the three main guerrilla groups, the main paramilitary organisation, and the armed forces in the area surrounding Quibdó in Colombia. Such maps, which would seem more appropriate for a ministry of defence than a medical aid office, are as important to Médicins Sans Frontières in Colombia as any vaccine or stethoscope. Colombia is in the middle of two wars. Civil war has engulfed the country for the past 40 years. But the lesser-known, but now more destructive, war of street violence has over the past year caused more deaths than the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East combined. In a world league table of violence published last month Colombia came top, with a murder rate 60 times that of Britain. It is the civil war that has brought MSF to Quibdó. The fighting has displaced nearly 3 million people nationally as they flee the violence, and few areas have been more affected than the Chocó region, of which Quibdó is the capital. There are around 40,000 desplazados (displaced) here, many without identification documents, living in poverty on the fringes of the city. Full Story

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