AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The "historical" problem of crop replacement is still open

Friday, 20 October 2017 drugs   politics   poverty   violence   indigenous

Tumaco (Agenzia Fides) – Mgr. Orlando Olave Villanoba, Bishop of Tumaco, said that the only way out of the crisis for this region of the department of Nariño is to implement a comprehensive plan of investment, education and alternative work for peasant and afro-descendant communities.
In an interview with Colombian Radio RCN, the Bishop explained that one of the most important problems that the port of Tumaco faces is the lack of attention from the State to meet the basic needs of the population. "It is a region without roads, with very low education levels, where peasants cannot satisfy many of their primary needs ... there is abandonment and injustice towards these communities", Mgr. Orlando Olave Villanoba pointed out.
One of the most complex and serious problems at the moment is that of replacing illegal crops and the presence of a number of armed groups that are generating violence and terrorizing the population. "It is a "historical" issue in the region, because many people are able to live only through those crops", he stressed, adding that "the presence of armed groups and the violent death of several social leaders are a reflection of the lack of government presence and intimidation by these organizations that want to impose themselves with violence".
Even Mgr. Olave reiterated that it is very important to listen to the community in this regard, as "we cannot apply solutions that have been served elsewhere, but which may not fit the reality of these communities". Yesterday, the Colombian Bishops' Conference issued a statement condemning the murder of French leader José Jair Cortés in Tumaco (Nariño) on October 17, pointing out that "when a leader is murdered the situation in the country worsens, society falls into poverty" and urge the authorities to commit themselves to incorporating these areas into the economic process and in the spirit of peace-building decided by the Colombians. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 20/10/2017)