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Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

FARC-EP raises age to join its ranks to 17

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"Enough lies about forced recruitment by FARC"

In a press release read by Comandante Iv?n M?rquez, the Peace Delegation of the FARC-EP, explaining the context and national reality experienced by thousands of children in Colombia, announced that from now on, it won?t incorporate minors under 17 in the ranks of the guerrilla movement.

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With this, the age to join the organization is increased with two more years; until now, the recruitment policies of the FARC-EP stipulated that only people between 15 and 30 years could be recruited.

This measure of de-escalation of the conflict was taken in order to have ?less youth involved in a military confrontation that was imposed on us (...)", explained head of the Peace Delegation Iv?n M?rquez.

He stated that, contrary to what the institutional propaganda wants us to believe, the FARC-EP doesn?t forcibly recruit children - nor adults either - for the simple reason that it would be counterproductive to the organization. In practice, the opposite thing happens: "Our Fronts (...) constantly have to dissuade a significant number of children from joining the FARC (...) until they are old enough (...)".

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The insurgency, illustrating its arguments with figures, stated that it is actually the State who carries out forced recruitment, through its famous "raids" - illegal and massive recruitment in poor neighborhoods - but also training minors to infiltrate them in the guerrilla movement afterwards.

Read the full communique in English here

Also read:

Indigenous 15-year-old girl recruited by the army 

 

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