Colombia: Violence against civilians
Reports of violence against civilians in Colombia have increased in 2020. As projected by ACAPS, armed groups and criminal organisations have taken advantage of COVID-19 containment measures to expand their territorial and social control, often by exploiting and inflicting violence on local communities. This violence is mainly concentrated in remote, rural areas where armed groups compete for control of illicit economies and state presence is weak. The departments of Cauca, Meta, Putumayo, Chocó, Nariño and Antioquia are especially affected. Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, who often live in these conflict-affected areas, are especially vulnerable to this violence and are targeted by armed groups for opposing their activities. Venezuelan refugee and migrant households are also at risk due to economic vulnerabilities and lack of access to support services. Women and girls are also at an increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the context of increased conflict. COVID-19 containment measures leave many of them isolated and cut off from protection services.