In this 2009 file photo, a Colombian police officer talks with children before the inauguration of a new police station in La Uribe, Meta province. REUTERS/Eliana Aponte.
Some children have recurring nightmares and constant anxiety, others suffer from insomnia and low self-esteem, and find it hard to interact with their peers. Other children, wounded by landmines, have had limbs amputated or are blind.
These are the mental and physical scars inflicted on children during Colombia’s 50-year-old war, according to a joint study released earlier this month by Colombia’s child protection agency (ICBF), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF).
Decades of fighting between the government, leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups have killed at least 220,000 people and forced about 5 million Colombians, half of them children, to leave their homes, according to government figures.
Read more …