Armed groups in Colombia are driving peasants off their land to make way for plantations of palm oil, a biofuel that is being promoted as an environmentally friendly source of energy.

Surging demand for “green” fuel has prompted rightwing paramilitaries to seize swaths of territory, according to activists and farmers. Thousands of families are believed to have fled a campaign of killing and intimidation, swelling Colombia’s population of 3 million displaced people and adding to one of the world’s worst refugee crises after Darfur and Congo.

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