The Colombian army claims to have killed two FARC guerrillas early Monday morning in the central department of Huila, and recovered a video tape proving that the guerilla group recruits both minors and females into its ranks.
According to a press release from the army’s 9th Brigade, Colombian soldiers killed two FARC guerillas and captured weapons and communications equipment after a firefight with FARC’s 17th Front, which is led by alias “Angelino Godoy,” in the department of Huila, early Monday.
The army claims that the captured video tape “clearly shows a child wearing military clothes, crossing a river on a makeshift bridge … and a women doing similar actions.”
According to the press release, one of the dead guerillas, alias “Julian,” was an explosives expert who was responsible for the February 5, 2009 bombing that killed Colombian soldier Jaime Alvarez Morales.
The other deceased guerilla, “Enrique,” originally came from the FARC’s Eastern Bloc, and was sent to Huila to lead guerrillas in “sneak attacks” against Colombian troops, the press release alleges.
Last week, the Colombian army announced that they had killed five suspected FARC guerillas in Huila.
Authorities have accused the FARC in the past of recruiting minors into their guerrilla movement. In February of this year, authorities provided details on the story of a 13-year-old indigenous girl who was forced to provide local intelligence to FARC troops. According to Vice President Francisco Santos, the girl was unarmed and said the FARC had forcibly recruited her.
In May of last year, authorities announced that the FARC forcibly recruited more than 100 children in the Tolima department in central Colombia.
The recruitment of minors into illegal armed groups in Colombia is not exclusive to the FARC. Right-wing paramilitaries have also been implicated in the forced recruitment of children. Last month it was revealed that Colombia’s Justice and Peace commission is currently investigating over 200 cases of minors recruited by paramilitary coalition the AUC, with reports of 2,700 cases in total.