This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Internally Displaced Persons: The Winner Again is Colombia

BBC News discusses a recent Norwegian Refugee Council report showing that, yet again, Colombia leads the world in the number of internally displaced persons. Although the civil war in Syria has caused a spike in the global number of IDPs, now estimated to be 29 million, 4.9 - 5.5 million of those are in Colombia, a country of about 47 million (more than twice the population of Syria).
Colombia has suffered from almost five decades of civil conflict with both left-wing guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitaries fighting each other, and the security forces.
Sadly, on top of this is layered the activities of criminal gangs:
Both the Colombian Red Cross and the IDMC have warned that the victims of criminal gangs in Colombia do not receive the same official recognition as those victimised by the Farc or ELN rebel groups.
Police say the Urabenos have more than 2,000 members and operate in major cities such as Medellin, as well as rural areas, where they engage in drug and arms trafficking and extortion.
Although Colombia gets top IDP "honors" at the country level, regionally it is still Sub-Saharan Africa that is most affected. A third of all IDPs are in that part of the world.

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