“In addition to the pandemic, the Department of Chocò is suffering from the growth of the historical virus of violence, abandonment of the state and corruption”, is what we read in the first lines of the press release of the Diocese of Quibdó, chaired by its Bishop, Mgr. Juan Carlos Barreto Barreto, in collaboration with other institutions, which once again show their concern for the systematic escalation of the armed conflict in the Department of Chocó, Colombia.
“Now, in this reality, nothing new seems to be happening, because the problem of the coronavirus pandemic almost completely occupies the agendas of the main media and public opinion, and makes the great historical problems of violence, state abandonment and corruption that continue to cause the greatest damage to our communities, invisible”, continues the text sent to Fides.
High levels of urban violence are occurring in the city of Quibdó, with 75 people killed in the first five months of the year. Similarly, the document lists the “great plagues” that have plagued Chocó for decades and that are leading to the violation of human rights in Afro, indigenous, and mestizo communities.
Faced with the collapse of the health system, generated by the spread of the coronavirus in this region of the country, the signatories of the declaration urgently appeal to the international community to promptly obtain the necessary support to overcome this dramatic moment.
Finally, they call for the restoration of the dialogue table with the “activation of transitory mechanisms to bring other armed actors to justice and the implementation of the final agreement, which includes the ethnic chapter, between the Colombian government and FARC” .
This declaration, sent to Agenzia Fides, is signed by the diocese of Quibdó, by the Major Community Council of the integral peasant association of Atrato – COCOMACIA, by the Table of the indigenous people of Chocó, by the Interethnic Forum of Chocó Solidarity, by the Departmental Network of Chocoane women and by the Territorial Commission of the Chocó guarantees.