Colombian FARC rebels recruit more than 18,000 children: Cour

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Colombian FARC rebels recruit more than 18,000 children: Cour


Colombian rebels now demobilized from the FARC recruited more than 18,000 children into their ranks over a 20-year period, a transitional justice court (JEP) said, accusing the group of subjecting the children to abuse and punishment. treatment amounting to war crimes.
The JEP’s investigation concerns Case 07, which concerns the recruitment and use of minors by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) between 1996 and 2016.

The tribunal will see 26 former FARC members testify, as Colombia seeks to combat the lasting impact of the decades-long civil war in the country between rebel and paramilitary groups and government forces.

“The instrumentalization of boys and girls in the conflict has caused pain in Colombian society,” JEP President Eduardo Cifuentes said at a press conference Tuesday in the capital, Bogota.

“A provisional estimate, which could be even higher, of 18,667 boys and girls used in the conflict by the FARC is, without a doubt, one of the most terrible acts that could have happened during the conflict,” he said. he declared.

The tally comes from analysis of 31 databases compiled by victim groups and the state, as well as testimonies from 274 people who were forcibly recruited, said Lily Rueda, the JEP magistrate in charge of the ‘case.

The court also said that at least 5,691 of the minors were under the age of 14, in violation of international humanitarian law.

As the investigation progresses, the JEP will also examine related sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, as well as killings, torture and cruel and degrading treatment.

The figures released by the JEP are much higher than those previously released by the government, which estimated that more than 7,400 minors had been recruited in Colombia between 1985 and 2020, while 16,000 died during the conflict.

The JEP was created as part of a 2016 peace agreement between the FARC and the Colombian government to investigate crimes and atrocities committed during the conflict. He has the power to impose lighter sentences than ordinary justice.

Former FARC leaders, who have since formed a political party called Comunes, previously said recruiting minors was not general policy and that many had joined rebel ranks to protect themselves or to escape poverty .



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