Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amnesty International to Colombia: "Let Me Count The Ways I Love Thee"

An excellent report on the ongoing problems in Colombia was published by Amnesty International this week. It's called "Leave Us In Peace", and you can get your copy by clicking right here. There is a lot of information packed into the 100 or so pages, but here are a few stats to give you an idea of how Colombia is for the people who live there:
  • 70,000 murders in the last 20 years.
  • Between 15,000 and 30,000 people have 'disappeared' since the start of the conflict.
  • 1,400 civilians killed in 2007 and 1,300 in 2006
  • Of the 1,400 killed last year, 300 have been identified as the responsibility of the right-wing paramilitaries, security forces accounted for 330, guerilla groups 260 and the other approx 500 unattributable.
  • 80 cases of torture last year, 45 of which died from the torture inflicted. Colombia's security forces were responsible for the majority of cases.
  • Colombia has more land mines than any other country in the world, mostly laid by the FARC terrorists. The main report starts with a particularly harrowing report of how three children were killed by one of these mines.
  • In the first 8 months of this year (2008), 40 trade union members were killed or disappeared, up from the 39 victims reported in 2007.
Please read the full report for the necessary detail that my little stat background cannot give you. Just so you have no excuse, here's the link to the report again. Once again, maybe you should be thanking your lucky stars for the things you have in life and not cursing and shaking your fist about the things you do not have.