1997: Urabá in turmoil

“Urabá” means “Promised Land”, and this region has long been at the very centre of the armed conflict for a number of reasons, including its geo-strategic position and the richness of its soil. In this region which was occupied and controlled by the FARC guerrilla, many different military and paramilitary operations were waged for control over the land. This armed conflict led to the forced displacement of more than 10,000 people from the communities of the Bajo Atrato sub-region. These communities included Afro-descendant people from the Cacarica river basin, who were housed together in a sports centre in the Turbo municipality (Antioquia department), in extremely difficult conditions.

The Inter-Congregational Justice and Peace Commission (Comisión Intercongregacional de Justicia y Paz) received information about this forced displacement and decided to visit and then support the displaced communities. PBI had been accompanying the Commission for three years, and analysed the possibility of accompanying the communities themselves. That was when the organisation decided to open an office in Urabá.

In the part of Urabá situated in the Antioquia department, in the San José de Apartadó municipality, the small-scale farming population also suffered attacks and forced displacements from their villages. A group of farmers decided to declare themselves as neutral and rejected the presence of armed actors in their territory, declaring themselves to be a Peace Community.


PBI Colombia

**Video realized by Javier Bauluz and produced thanks to the support the International Cooperation Agency of Extremadura for the Development (AEXCID)


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