Colombia: adapting to new realities

Colombian police spraying coca fields, Narino Province - REUTERS/Eliana Aponte

The armed conflict in Colombia continues to evolve. There has been significant progress on key issues, including land restitution for people displaced by the conflict, but armed violence continues to impact thousands of civilians, particularly in remote areas in the east and south-west of the country. Today, our colleagues in Colombia work on a range of problems that may not be directly connected to violations of international humanitarian law but have humanitarian consequences for the population. Aerial fumigation of illegal coca crops is one. It affects thousands of poor rural residents in several regions where the ICRC maintains a presence.

Outgoing Colombia Head of Delegation Christophe Beney visited Washington, Miami and Ottawa last week to talk about our action in the country. Here, he explains why the Bogota delegation has decided to address the humanitarian consequences of coca fumigation.