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  • Presently, there are five million displaced people living in Colombia. Fortunately, this number has stopped growing with such rapidity, but it does not solve the problem for those affected years ago, forced to leave their homes with little to no possessions to live in a makeshift hut or room, with thousands of others. These people had no other choice but to flee to escape threats, violence and death.

    Here is the scenario. The guerrillas come off the mountain or out of the jungle, and they go to the nearest family. They order them to go into town and get the items on a list they have compiled or they will be killed. They are given little time to do this. The people then quickly gather the small amount of money they have and start the journey into town. The paramilitary then stop them on the road, and ask them where they are going. The family states that they are going to town. They are asked why and they explain it is to get food. They are searched. The list is found. That is a lot of food for just a small family. They are asked if it is to supply the guerrillas. Of course not, they lie, because they don't want to be shot. They are told that if they return with all of these items, the paramilitary will assume they are supplying the guerrillas with food, and they will be killed.

    Desperate to save his family, the father turns them around, goes to his house, quickly packs their belongings, and leaves before the guerrillas return and they are killed for not having bought the food, or before the paramilitary stop them on the road again and discover the large amounts of food, and are shot for being 'traitors.' It is a no win situation.

    This is only one story. Thousands have left because the FARC have given them 24 hours to leave their farm that they have worked for years to build, or they will all be killed. They have had to run. Thousands have left because the fighting has been too intense for too long, and they know sooner or later their luck will run out, and someone dear to them will be killed. And so they go in droves onto 'reservations' built by necessity and the will to survive, and they wait until the day they can return. Some have been waiting for twenty years. Some have nothing to return to, due to the violence. They are waiting for some kind of an absolution that may never come.
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