AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Justice for 1500 orphans of the civil conflict

Friday, 1 March 2013

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - There are 1,542 children who lost their parents in the civil war analysed by the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF) in the departments of Antioquia, Casanare and Nariño.
In a note sent to Fides by Radio Caracol reports that children are now in the custody of the ICBF under the "Law on victims and land restitution."
"Let us give psycho-social support, what we need to do is to recover souls, spirits, so that there is no more violence, no hatred," said Diego Molano, director of the ICBF.
According to this new law, the orphans of terrorist events that have occurred since 1985 can now reclaim the family land. "We need to identify children who were with the family that fled or were driven out, so that a judge can return the property to the children," said Ricardo Sabogal, head of the Unit of Restitution of land.
According to information collected by Fides, many of these children have been living for a long time in social centers run by the Catholic Church. Several centers for orphans receive food from Caritas and social services of the Church. Only in Granada, according to official sources, the conflict between guerrillas and paramilitaries killed 1276 people between the late 90s and 2003. It is estimated that 10 percent of these victims are children and adolescents.
The conflict resulted in the mass exodus of civilians: more than half of the population fled, scared by the wave of death and violence. According to the municipal administration out of the 20,000 inhabitants of Granada in 2000, there are now about 9,800. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 01/03/2013)