The municipality of Granada, in eastern Antioquia, is facing a serious overpopulation problem due to the return of residents forced out of the area in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The administration says it simply doesn’t have the resources to meet the needs of all the people returning. In recent years nearly 5,099 people, or 1,283 families, have quietly returned, generating an increase in demand in a number of areas.
“The town has financial problems. Because of displacement and violence it stopped getting taxes and with people’s massive return the municipality’s capability to serve them is worn out,” Mayor Fredy Castaño said.
In response to the situation, the administration decreed a State of Emergency hoping to channel departmental, national and international aid to benefit all those “who come to our town.”
Some 100 families have returned to Granada recently, which is nearly 500 people, and 1,500 more are expected in 2013. Approximately 700 people displaced from other Colombian towns have also chosen Granada as their new home.
With the State of Emergency in place, authorities hope to obtain the resources needed to meet the needs the town hasn’t been able to fulfill. “In matters of health and education we don’t have a problem. But road infrastructure, housing and aqueduct service have been overwhelmed.”