Former FARC hostage Luis Eladio Perez denounced that the guerrilla organization sexually abuses young girls before the First International Congress on the Recruitment and Use of Children in Bogota Wednesday.
Perez, who was released by the FARC in February 2008 after close to seven years of captivity, said that children as young as five are recruited by the guerrillas. While young boys are used to gather coca leaves, young girls are used as sex slaves, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.
“The case of females is pathetic, they are sexual objects. When a girl arrives, the first to have sex with her is the commander of the front or squad,” Perez testified.
Perez said that some girls opt to live with a guerrilla of rank in order to obtain things like nail polish or earrings.
“Those who for some reason don’t live with a guerrilla, have to give sexual favors to other the guerrillas on Wednesdays and Sundays under the guise that they have to cooperate and help their compañeros relax to create a better environment,” Perez said.
According to Perez, children enter the guerrilla organization due to a lack of opportunities and so they know where their next meal will come from. He said minors are mistreated, dehumanized and unpaid.
UNICEF expressed concern over the increase in the recruitment of minors as guerrillas at the Congress and estimated between between 8 and 14 thousand minors are currently working with guerrilla organizations in Colombia.