Columbian Center for Women and Children Burned in Arson Attack

A weekend fire, thought to be the result of an arson attack, burned down a community center operated by the League of Displaced Women (Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas) in Columbia. The organization works on behalf of thousands of women and children who were forced to leave their homes because of violence. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has already pledged to aid the organization and help rebuild the building, which was used as a meeting place, community kitchen, and for human rights trainings.

The League, which has won several human rights prizes and was nominated for the Colombian National Peace Prize in 2005, has received threats before. Colombia, which has endured more than 40 years of fighting among the government, leftist rebels, and right-wing paramilitaries, has – at some 3 million – one of the highest populations of displaced persons.
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UN release 1/23/07; UNHCR release 1/23/07

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