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News > Colombia

Some 64,000 Colombian Minors Were Killed Over 30 Years of War

  • A mural entitled

    A mural entitled "The Embrace of Truth" in In Fusagasuga, Colombia, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @NSArchive

Published 5 July 2022 (20 hours 20 minutes ago)
Opinion

State security agents were responsible for 29.6 percent of the murders, the paramilitaries for 22.4 percent of the cases, and the guerrilla organizations for 16.4 percent of the attacks.

On Tuesday, the Truth Commission published a new chapter of its final report, which shows that at least 64,084 Colombian minors were murdered between 1985 and 2018. Among them, 14,562 were Indigenous children and 27,290 Black minors

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The chapter, entitled "It Was Not a Lesser Evil: Boys, Girls and Adolescents in the Armed Conflict", collects nearly 200 stories and over 2,700 testimonies. It shows abuses and situations faced by minors in Colombia, "a country of orphans".

"This country has not taken special care of children. It has always been considered that what happens to them is collateral damage, but such is not the case," said Diana Britto, the director of the chapter.

The Truth Commission, which presented on June 28 the first chapter of its final report after three and a half years of work, documented that over 50 percent of the displaced persons -which have been more than 8 million - were minors when they had to flee their homes.

The Commission received 3,049,527 cases of displaced minors between 1985 and 2019. This figure increased with 139,842 children who were displaced between 2020 and 2021.

"When the family was not broken up by previous violence and the affective bond was maintained, the rupture caused by the uprooting was less abrupt", the human rights defenders stated.

"However, when the minors had to go out alone, they were more exposed to violence such as exploitation labor, the mistreatment of relatives or even strangers who took advantage of the need they had for work, housing and food".

The Truth Commission also documented that State security agents were responsible for 29.6 percent of the murders of minors, the paramilitaries for 22.4 percent of the cases, and the guerrilla organizations for 16.4 percent of the attacks.

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Diana Britto
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