The FARC announced Thursday that it will not incorporate into its ranks minors than 17 years, raising two years as the minimum age of its fighters, and denied having “forcibly recruited neither children nor to any combatant”.
“The FARC (…) decide not to incorporate, on, under 17 years to the guerrilla ranks, while expressing the longing to reach a peace deal with social justice soon,” told the press guerrilla chief negotiator Ivan Marquez.
They also accused the Colombian Army to conduct so-called “sweeps” through which recruit “children and youth” of “impoverished popular sectors”.
Between 2008 and 2012 “were forcibly incorporated into military service 466,377 young people,” of whom among high school graduates almost 90 percent came from the poorest strata of society, according to the guerrillas.
The insurgents believe that the decision to raise the minimum age of its fighters demonstrated their willingness to promote measures for the “desuperheating” of the Colombian conflict whose aim negotiate with the Colombian government since 2012 in Havana.