Colombia/Venezuela: Attacks on Civilians in Border Area
Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished
Thursday 08 August 2019
(Bogotá, August 8, 2019) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report, “The War in Catatumbo: Abuses by Armed Groups Against Civilians Including Venezuelan Exiles in Northeastern Colombia,” documents killings, disappearances, sexual violence, recruitment of children as soldiers, and forced displacement by the National Liberation Army (ELN), Popular Liberation Army (EPL), and a group that emerged from the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Armed groups use threats to gain control, including against community leaders and human rights defenders, some of whom have been killed. Venezuelans who fled the humanitarian emergency in their country are among the victims.