Wednesday, June 20, 2012
"[T]he child who yesterday possessed / A country welcomer than this" (Randall Jarrell)
The best geography blog has posted a list of the ten countries with the greatest number of fleeing refugees – with Afghanistan at the top. The only nation in the Americas among them is Colombia (many of its people have fled into Ecuador).
The most populous country in South America after Brazil is Colombia -- more than 46 million.
Its three largest cities are Bogota (known as the “Athens of South America” for its many universities and libraries); Medellin; and Cali.
No country in the world has more internal refugees – known as “internally displaced people” – than Colombia.
What is causing all the trouble? The government of Colombia has been fighting Marxist guerillas since the 1960s… plus there has been the upheaval of massive floods in recent years. The revolutionaries, known as FARC, make millions off of drug trafficking and they hold hundreds of hostages.
(Four years ago the government forces were able to liberate 15 hostages, including the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and several American defense contractors after long captivities).