Colombia’s Defense Minister Defends the Operation in Which 7 Children Died

Senator Roy Barreras denounced that a massacre was committed in the military operation against FARC dissidents.

Minister of Defense of Colombia, Guillermo Botero, Tuesday justified the military operation directed against dissidents of demobilized FARC, in which seven children died, including a 12 year old girl.

Botero, who faced a debate on censorship on Tuesday in the Senate, said that the military operation against dissidents, carried out a few weeks ago in the department of Caquetá, in southern Colombia, was “lawful”, and in accordance with international humanitarian law.

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“This was a lawful operation carried out with all the rigor of International Humanitarian Law and with the support of the Prosecutor’s Office, who about knew the operation from the beginning,” said the minister.

On Tuesday in the parliamentary session, Senator Roy Barreras denounced the operation in Caquetá in which about 14 dissidents of the demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were killed as an actual massacre, which included the murder of seven minors.

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“You hid from Colombia that you bombarded children and seven children died. Why didn’t you tell Colombia that you had bombed children in that operation,” Barreras said.

But Minister Botero said that will be the Prosecutor’s Office which must determine if the dissidents have any responsibility for having armed minors in a camp.

“There, eleven or twelve rifles were recovered … a machine gun, two guns, that is to say, there was abundant (war) material and its members will be responsible for using minors,” said the Minister of Defense.

The president of the upper house, Lidio García, once the debate on the motion of censure was over, called the senators to a new session on Wednesday of next week to proceed to the respective vote.

Source URL: Telesur

Translated by JRE/EF

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