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Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:44 PM

Colombians seek refuge in Ecuador despite peace effort

Colombians seek refuge in Ecuador despite peace effort
Thu, 22 Nov 2012 19:15 GMT
Source: alertnet // Anastasia Moloney

By Anastasia Moloney

SAN LORENZO, Ecuador (AlertNet) - When Angela Quinoes’ nine-year-old daughter was raped by a local gang member a year ago, she decided her family had no option but to leave their home in the southwest Colombian port city of Tumaco.

Quinoes, her husband and their three young daughters packed several suitcases and made the four-hour journey by bus and small boat along the tributaries of the Pacific Ocean to the port town of San Lorenzo in neighbouring Ecuador.

“I felt impotent. I worried for the future and safety of my daughters. We were surrounded by gangs, looking to recruit boys and girls. If you denounce a crime, the gangs threatened you with death. I had to protect my children,” said Quinoes, sitting in the shack she rents.

San Lorenzo’s warrens of precarious wooden shacks on stilts are home to thousands of Colombians who have fled violence over the years.


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