• Riosucio

    Fifty years of armed conflict has forced over seven million people in Colombia from home, making this South American nation the largest internal displacement situation in the world. In addition to massive displacement and the constant fear of being uprooted, some 260,000 people have been murdered and more than 46,000 people were disappeared.

    In 2016, a historic Peace Agreement was reached with the largest guerrilla group, FARC-EP. This agreement offers enormous opportunity for the nation, especially for the Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities who’ve disproportionately suffered the effects of violence and displacement. But the reality is that peace will not come overnight, nor will truth, justice and reconciliation. Implementing the Peace Agreement has proven challenging, particularly in the remote and isolated regions most affected by conflict. FARC rebels may have laid down their arms, but new guerrilla and paramilitary are now fighting for claim over these territories. While the power vacuum left by FARC demobilization has increased fear and uncertainty within the very communities who need peace the most, the proliferation of armed groups across the country make it unthinkable for displaced people to return home.

    Riosucio (the theme os this essay) is an isolated and incredibly hard-to-reach town in a region that has a dramatic history of conflict and forced displacement that has had a disproportionate impact on women and children.

    Commissioned by UNHCR