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A VIDEO published by Noticias Caracol reportedly shows that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) continue to recruit minors into their ranks and train them as militia members.
In November, the Biden administration removed the FARC from the US list of terrorist organizations, arguing that the criminal organizations that emerged after the Havana peace process no longer represent the former communist guerrillas. However, Colombia’s own armed groups continue to identify themselves as the FARC.
When is Colombia finally going to admit that Santos hoodwinked the nation and there is no such thing as "dissident" Farc?l https://t.co/pV3XcPrZ0x
— MaryAnastasiaO'Grady (@MaryAnastasiaOG) September 12, 2022
The video was obtained during the summer of 2022, and according to Colombian military intelligence sources, more than half of the people appearing in the video were minors.
The evidence points to the criminal practice of underage recruitment in Colombia, which is common among all types of armed groups in the country, including the FARC and the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN).
The revelation of the video comes at a time when the defense minister of Gustavo Petro’s government, Ivan Velasquez, announced that bombings of guerrilla camps with minors would be banned.
Although the government parties welcomed the announcement by the Ministry of Defense, several opposition figures and experts on the subject have expressed that the declaration could encourage the country’s armed groups to intensify the recruitment of minors to avoid being attacked by the Colombian air force.
The recruitment of minors by armed groups continues to be a current practice among Colombian terrorist groups. According to a study by the Crime Observatory of the Universidad del Rosario between 2017 and 2020, 178 events of forced recruitment of minors by the ELN, 165 by the FARC and 174 cases by the Clan del Golfo, a drug trafficking organization, have been documented.
Moreover, underage recruitment is not the only problem. So far in 2022, the number of minors released from these criminal organizations has halved compared to 2021, and only 85 children have been rescued from the clutches of these terrorist groups as of April 30.
Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica