The office of the Ombudsman issued an alert for the recruitment of children and teens into criminal drug gangs and delinquent groups in Bogotá’s peripheries. The groups fight to control these areas which are natural corridors from Bogotá’s sabana to the Sumapaz region, as well as to Colombia’s center and western region. These neighborhoods are also entry points into Bogotá.
In Cuidad Bolívar and Bosa, the neo-paramilitary/ Bacrim groups, Águilas Negras and Rastrojos, lead children and adolescents to become spies, messengers, extortionists, assassins, drug mules, drug dealers, and to transport arms.
The recruits are lured with drinks, food, small presents, electronic equipment, and cash.
Girls are particularly vulnerable to forced prostitution, pornography and sex tourism.
The office of the Ombudsman also warned of increased of recruitment in Soacha. The neo-paramilitary/ Bacrim groups, Águilas Negras-Capital Bloc and Rastrojos-Urban Commands, operate in Soacha.
The office of the Ombudsman first warned of the dangers in Soacha in November 2001.