Colombian authorities said Tuesday they have been unable to prosecute the 15 year old father of baby born two weeks ago to a ten-year-old ethnic Wayuu girl due to the legal autonomy held by her indigenous community.
The Wayuu have their own justice system and rarely cooperate with the Colombian state on such matters, said Maria Gladys Pabon, chief prosecutor in La Guajira Department capital Riohacha.
In Colombian law the legal age of consent is 14, so the 15 year old father would be prosecutable for having sexual relations with the ten-year-old minor. If found guilty he would face up to nine years in prison.
But under Colombia’s 1991 constitution the Wayuu have jurisdiction in such matters.
The girl, who cannot be identified by law, gave birth March 29 via Caesarean section and is one of the youngest mothers on record.
The father, who regional authorities say is 15, also cannot be identified.
The Wayuu people reportedly do not consider that the girl was raped, but that she engaged in consensual sexual relations.
The ten-year-old girl has reportedly said she would not seek to prosecute the father without consulting Wayuu tribal leaders.