A damning 80 percent of the 22,000 cases of sexual abuse recorded this year in Colombia affected underage children, as found on Friday by the country's Institute of Forensics.This represents a 14 percent rise in the total number of cases compared with last year.
Three days ago, authorities arrested 19 people accused of raping 14-year-old children in the city of Barranquilla.
However, in most rape cases against minors, these are committed by relatives, according to experts. This year, the institute found that this was the case in 90 percent of the sexual abuses recorded.
“We should take care more about human beings... people are carrying out big campaigns for animal rights but not even one for our children, who are the main victims of crimes,” said the Institute's director, Carlos Valdes.
Last month, just like every other year on the International Day for Children Rights, the children association Aldeas Infantiles SOS Colombia organized a “sit-in of toys” in order to raise awareness about sexual abuses of children on the Bolivar Square in Bogota.
According to the charity, only 30 percent of the cases are reported to authorities, hiding a much bigger iceberg than the Institute's annual report found, while in 70 percent of the time, children don't dare to complain or tell what happened.
The institute also found that 108,000 cases of interpersonal violence had been reported in Colombia in 2017, concerning women in 40 percent of the time.