Children have been severely affected by recent Colombian violence, Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) said Thursday, with four killed and 13 injured.
Three bombings, two grenade attacks and and two land mine explosions between January 26 and February 7 caused the deaths and injury of 17 children aged between six and 15 years old, it said.
ICBF director Diego Mulano said, “Children cannot be the victims of terrorists. We will offer them all the support they need to make their voices heard in protest against these violent atrocities.”
They would be offered the full range of psychosocial support and help understanding their rights under the Victims Law, he added.
Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC — which has accepted responsibility for the worst of last week’s bombings, according to police — released a statement Tuesday claiming “nothing [was] further from [their] convictions than indiscriminate actions against civilian populations.”
It accused the police and army of deliberately surrounding themselves with “civilian populations which they use as a shield.”
The ICBF collated this list of children affected by recent violence:
- Caloto, Cauca department, January 26: A 6-year-old child died after stepping on a land mine.
- Tumaco, Nariño department, February 1: Six children were injured in an apparent FARC bombing that represented the worst Colombian terrorist attack in years — 11 people were killed and more than 70 wounded.
- Santa Barbara de Iscuande, Nariño department, February 1: A child of 13 was killed and another six injured in a grenade attack.
- Villa Rica, Cauca department, February 2: A 12-year-old child was one of seven people killed when a bomb exploded outside a police station.
- San Jose de la Fragua, Caqueta department, February 3: Two children aged six and eight were injured after stepping on a land mine.
- Florida, Valle department, February 5: A 15-year-old was killed and another injured after stepping on a land mine.
- Jambalo, Cauca department, February 7: Three children aged 10 and 11 were injured when an abandoned grenade exploded at their college.