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International Humanitarian Law and Victims of Child Recruitment as Targets of an Attack

Aaron Alfredo Acosta & Alejandro Jiménez Ospina | Published on March 31, 2021

On 29 August 2019, at around midnight, the Colombian Air Force bombed a camp in the jungles of Caquetá. The objective: alias Gildardo Cucho, leader of the group E-7 and part of the forces commanded by Gentil Duarte. The following day,  President Iván Duque announced  that Gildardo Cucho and another eight members of his group were eliminated.  In his speech, the president explained  that this was the result of a “strategic, meticulous, and impeccable effort, with full rigor….” However, he left out one grisly detail:  in the bombing, at least eight children were assassinated .

This information was withheld from the public for forty-eight days, until it was revealed in a complaint filed against the Minister of Defense. However, the Commander of the Armed Forces, Luis Fernando Navarro, and the Minister of Defense affirmed at a press conference that the authorities “ did not know about the presence of minors” in the camp .

Image credit: OECD (CC BY-NC 4.0)