In the last several years, the violence of the Colombian civil war has turned against non-combattants. Left-wing guerrillas kill or threaten people who seem to support the government, while right wing guerrillas drive peasants off their land so that they can steal it. Today, there may be as many as four million refugees in Colombia.
Except that no one is allowed to say the word refugee. According to the United Nations, a refugee has crossed an international border, so Colombian refugees are internally displaced persons, or desplazados. Because of this legal distinction, they are not entitled to international aid, and most live in the most miserable conditions imaginable. Many, perhaps most, of their children end up working or vending on the street.