Colombian child fighter’s first toy was a gun

April 18th, 2008 - 3:04 pm ICT by admin  

Bogota, April 18 (DPA) A Colombian child fighter turned herself to the authorities after seeing her older brother die in combat and was given a doll as a present, a Colombian military general has said. “We gave the girl a doll, and she told us that her first toy had been an AK-47 rifle that she was given two months ago,” said General Paulino Coronado of the Colombian Army Thursday.

The girl, who said she had been recruited by the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), gave herself up in the Norte de Santander province after a recent battle that left seven rebels dead including two minors.

Coronado denounced FARC - the largest rebel group in Colombia - for recruiting child fighters.

Political and social scientist Natalia Springer said in an article earlier this month that some 40,000 minors are members of the leftist rebel and right-wing paramilitary groups. Of these, 14,000 bear arms.

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