The video above was filmed in November 2014 in Tolima department.
The video above was also filmed in 2014. At 00:21, you will hear the spontaneous giggles of children — as they are led in arms maneuvering drills. At 2:06, the video shows the army rescuing minors, who will then be placed under the care of the Ministry of Family Welfare.
In February 2015, FARC negotiators in Havana agreed to stop recruiting children under 17 years of age.
Last week, the FARC said that though they agreed to stop recruiting children under 17, they never agreed to release children already in the group.
On April 24, 2015, the government’s army rescued eight children and adolescents, between the ages of 11 and 17, from the FARC’s 49th Front, in the hamlet of Buenos Aires, in the municipality of San José de Fragua in Caquetá department.
The minors were being used as shields. When government soldiers realized they faced children, they did not return fire and instead surrounded the children, until they were close enough to whisper, “put your weapons down.” The minors obeyed.
In order to save the children, the soldiers allowed FARC chief alias “Porcelana” to flee.
The rescued minors have human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, which can cause genital warts and cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus.
On a separate account, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón said the army rescued several more children from the FARC’s 15th Front. According to the children themselves, they had been forcibly recruited and made to train.
The Ministry of Family Welfare estimates there are still 2000 children in FARC ranks.