In October 2017, more than 1,0000 people fled to the village of Catrú in Colombia's Chocó region. 

"They came because they feared that more people would be killed," says one of the community leaders in Catrú, home to the indigenous Embera people. 

The Pacific region, particularly Chocó, has become a battleground for clashes between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and another armed group. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have been disproportionally affected. Seven out of ten people displaced this year come from these communities. 

In many areas previously controlled by FARC, armed conflict is still ongoing. In some areas, the fighting has increased since FARC laid down their weapons, as armed groups are attempting to take control over strategic areas, natural resources and important drug routes. In many places, paramilitary groups have moved in, causing increased fear among the population. Violence has increased throughout the country, as has the number of local leaders being murdered.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been present in Colombia since 1991. In Chocó, we inform indigenous groups about their rights and provide legal aid in questions relating to land rights and compensation after having been forced to flee. In Catrú we help make sure that children get to go to school, and provide clean water to the community.


Photo: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/NRC
Les billedteksten Denne kvinnen tilhører urfolksgruppen Embera. I oktober 2017 ble over tusen mennesker fra gruppen drevet på flukt som følge av vold og drap i Chocó-regionen vest i Colombia. Foto: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/Flyktninghjelpen

På flukt for livet i eget land

Thale Solnørdal Jenssen|Publisert 09. aug 2018
Colombias urfolksgrupper har vært blant de hardest rammede av den 50 år lange konflikten i landet. Nå henger freden i en tynn tråd, og mange tvinges fortsatt på flukt.

Colombias regjering og den væpnede gruppen FARC-geriljaen inngikk en fredsavtale i 2016, men fremdeles pågår det væpnet konflikt i landet. Enkelte steder har kampene blitt verre etter at FARC la ned våpnene.

Frykter for livet

Etter tre timer i bil på en humpete vei og halvannen time i båt opp langs en frodig elv som fører oss stadig dypere inn i regnskogen, kommer vi til en landsby. Vi er i regionen Chocó på Colombias vestkyst. Tidligere kontrollerte FARC flere områder i regionen. Nå har den blitt en slagmark for kamper mellom opprørsgruppen ELN og en annen væpnet gruppe.

Landsbyen er knutepunktet til urfolksgruppen Embera, én av 104 urfolksgrupper i Colombia. Landsbyen er hjem til over 2.000 av emberafolket, som lever spredt langs elva og i fjellene omkring. I oktober 2017 økte innbyggertallet i landsbyen med over tusen mennesker. Årsak: De flyktet for livet.

In October 2017, more than 1,0000 people fled to the village of Catrú in Colombia's Chocó region. 

"They came because they feared that more people would be killed," says one of the community leaders in Catrú, home to the indigenous Embera people. 

The Pacific region, particularly Chocó, has become a battleground for clashes between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and another armed group. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have been disproportionally affected. Seven out of ten people displaced this year come from these communities. 

In many areas previously controlled by FARC, armed conflict is still ongoing. In some areas, the fighting has increased since FARC laid down their weapons, as armed groups are attempting to take control over strategic areas, natural resources and important drug routes. In many places, paramilitary groups have moved in, causing increased fear among the population. Violence has increased throughout the country, as has the number of local leaders being murdered.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been present in Colombia since 1991. In Chocó, we inform indigenous groups about their rights and provide legal aid in questions relating to land rights and compensation after having been forced to flee. In Catrú we help make sure that children get to go to school, and provide clean water to the community.


Photo: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/NRC
Les billedteksten Representanter fra emberafolket holder landsbymøte. Landsbyen har tatt imot over tusen venner og slektninger som har blitt drevet på flukt i regionen etter at lederen deres ble drept. Foto: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/Flyktninghjelpen


Landsbyleder drept

I oktober 2017 ble en av lederne deres drept.

– Han jobbet for urfolks rettigheter og kjempet for landområdene våre. Vi tror det er årsaken til at han ble drept, forteller en annen av landsbylederne.

Men hvordan kunne dette skje i Colombia nøyaktig ett år etter fredsavtalen?

– Fredsavtalen ble inngått med FARC, men det finnes også andre væpnede grupper som ikke har ingått en fredsavtale med myndighetene.

Mange grupper ønsker kontroll over naturressurser og viktige narkotikaruter i stillehavsregionen og kjemper nå om områder tidligere kontrollert av FARC. Områder hvor det bor afrocolombianere og urfolksgrupper har blitt sterkt rammet av konflikten. Syv av ti personer som ble tvunget på flukt i 2017 kommer fra disse områdene.

Les også: Dette truer freden i Colombia

In October 2017, more than 1,0000 people fled to the village of Catrú in Colombia's Chocó region. 

"They came because they feared that more people would be killed," says one of the community leaders in Catrú, home to the indigenous Embera people. 

The Pacific region, particularly Chocó, has become a battleground for clashes between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and another armed group. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have been disproportionally affected. Seven out of ten people displaced this year come from these communities. 

In many areas previously controlled by FARC, armed conflict is still ongoing. In some areas, the fighting has increased since FARC laid down their weapons, as armed groups are attempting to take control over strategic areas, natural resources and important drug routes. In many places, paramilitary groups have moved in, causing increased fear among the population. Violence has increased throughout the country, as has the number of local leaders being murdered.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been present in Colombia since 1991. In Chocó, we inform indigenous groups about their rights and provide legal aid in questions relating to land rights and compensation after having been forced to flee. In Catrú we help make sure that children get to go to school, and provide clean water to the community.


Photo: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/NRC
Les billedteksten Flere væpnede grupper i Colombia ønsker kontroll over naturressurser og viktige narkotikaruter og stillehavsregionen, og kjemper nå om områder tidligere kontrollert av FARC. Bildet er fra Chocó-regionen på Colombias stillehavskyst. Foto: Ana Karine Delgado Diaz/Flyktninghjelpen


Må flykte igjen og igjen

Det er ikke første gang emberafolket blir drevet på flukt.

– Vi har blitt drevet på flukt gjentatte ganger siden begynnelsen av 1970-tallet, forteller landsbylederen.

Bare de siste ti årene har landsbyen hans tatt imot store grupper med mennesker på flukt fra væpnede grupper fire ganger: i 2008, 2009, 2014 og nå sist høsten 2017. Mange har flyktet flere ganger.

– Vi hører at myndighetene forsøker å inngå fred med disse gruppene, men det er kun på papiret. Vi trenger at freden når våre områder. Ord er ikke nok, vi må se handlinger.

Dette gjør Flyktninghjelpen

Flyktninghjelpen har jobbet i Colombia siden 1991.

– I Chocó informerer vi urfolksgrupper om hvilke rettigheter de har og vi gir juridisk hjelp i spørsmål knyttet til rettigheter til land og oppreisning etter å ha blitt drevet på flukt, forteller Judith Palacios, som jobber med juridisk rådgivning i Flyktninghjelpen. – I denne landsbyen bidrar vi til at barna får gå på skolen og sørger for rent vann til lokalsamfunnet.

Landsbylederen er glad for hjelpen de får: – Nå kjenner vi rettighetene våre og vi vet hvordan vi skal kjempe for dem.

Judith Palacios works with legal counselling in NRC.

In October 2017, more than 1,0000 people fled to the village of Catrú in Colombia's Chocó region. 

"They came because they feared that more people would be killed," says one of the community leaders in Catrú, home to the indigenous Embera people. 

The Pacific region, particularly Chocó, has become a battleground for clashes between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and another armed group. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities have been disproportionally affected. Seven out of ten people displaced this year come from these communities. 

In many areas previously controlled by FARC, armed conflict is still ongoing. In some areas, the fighting has increased since FARC laid down their weapons, as armed groups are attempting to take control over strategic areas, natural resources and important drug routes. In many places, paramilitary groups have moved in, causing increased fear among the population. Violence has increased throughout the country, as has the number of local leaders being murdered.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has been present in Colombia since 1991. In Chocó, we inform indigenous groups about their rights and provide legal aid in questions relating to land rights and compensation after having been forced to flee. In Catrú we help make sure that children get to go to school, and provide clean water to the community.

Photo: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/NRC
Les billedteksten Judith Palacios jobber med juridisk rådgivning i Flyktninghjelpen. Foto: Ana Karina Delgado Diaz/Flyktninghjelpen