Colombia at a glance
True Lies, Disappeared Realities
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has been growing since 2003, when President Álvaro Uribe’s Democratic Security strategy began, with approximately one million people displaced since 2006. Unfortunately, the deteriorating humanitarian situation has not altered the military approach of the Colombian Government. On the contrary, the Presidential Directive of 1 March 2009 continues to prioritise the armed forces and denies altogether the existence of a humanitarian crisis. This makes it difficult to measure the actual dimension of the crisis.
This year’s mission found that most humanitarian organisations consider the international response positive in terms of financial support, but missing a much more critical approach by donor countries toward the Colombian authorities. The lack of both a common understanding of the crisis and a critical stand towards the Colombian Government is probably the reason there is no long-term donor strategy – something that most humanitarian actors interviewed by the HRI team in Bogotá said they wanted. Many felt that donor countries should rethink their presence in Colombia and “agree on a common specific strategy for a protracted crisis”.