‘Urban displacement’ Rises in Medellín by 72 Percent

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In Medellin, once the epicenter of the country’s drug-fueled conflict, violence is again on the rise.

During the first eight months of this year, 4,469 people in the city were forced to move out of their homes due to violence, reports the Colombian weekly Semana.  In this period, the city experienced an increase in official declarations of displacement by 508 cases, a rise of 72 percent.  Although many of those displaced are escorted voluntarily from their homes, many leave after public officials notify them that they can no longer guarantee their safety.  According to the Public Prosecutor, these people are displaced as a result of intimidation by illegal armed groups, such as guerilla and paramilitary organizations. If true, this indicates a possible shift in the Colombian conflict, as supposedly “decommissioned” armed actors from the countryside migrate to urban areas only to continue committing acts of violence.

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