US soldiers and independent contractors sexually abused at least 54 Colombian girls between 2003 and 2007, a recently released report reveals.
The 809-page document, entitled ‘Contribution to the understanding of the armed conflict in Colombia’, was commissioned by both the government and the FARC rebels in order to establish the root causes of the 50-year internal conflict and attempt to determine to what degree the various actors are responsible for a vast array of crimes.
According to the report, the abuse took place in Melgar, a town just outside of Bogota, where US military personnel stationed at a base sexually abused 53 girls over a four year period.
The report states that many of those who participated in the abuse videotaped their crimes and sold the footage as pornographic materials.
“Also in Melgar, a contractor and a US Army sergeant raped a 12-year-old girl in 2007,” the report states, citing an additional case, bringing the total to at least 54.
But thanks to immunity deals between the US and Colombia, those guilty of committing the crimes may never be prosecuted, the study noted.
“[US] immunity status has contributed to the insecurity of the population in conflict zones [and] the civilian population,” according to the report.
Look for the latest edition of the Bogota Post throughout the city in the coming days
By Mark Kennedy