Children Shot by Army in Caguan
News from Colombia |
on: Monday, 30 May 2011
Communities in the region of Caguan, Southern Colombia, have reported an attack by army troops that left 16 civilians wounded, including several children.
The civilians were travelling in a lorry on the road between Floresta and Rosal early on the evening of 9th May 2011 when they were ambushed by the army. The troops of the army’s 27th Mobile Brigade opened automatic fire, and also threw grenades, injuring the passengers. The victims were transported to a hospital in Florencia, but many were released after inadequate basic treatment.
The youngest victim, 2 year-old Jhony Esteban Astudillo Polo, was hit in the right arm and buttock. Although his wounds were treated, he was released from hospital on May 12th - but his family claims that he is still bleeding from one of the wounds. 13 year-old Davian Rolando Murcia was hit in the heel, 8 year-old Andres Felipe Astudillo Polo was hit by shrapnel and 6 year-old John Sebastian Astudillo Polo suffered burns in the attack. 3 year-old Sara Daniela Fajardo Flórez received shrapnel wounds to the leg and her face was grazed by a bullet. 10 year-old Luis Alberto Mejía was covered by bodies during the ambush, and thus was not hit, but he was seriously bruised during the incident.
Several adults were also severely wounded. Many received bullet wounds to the abdomen, and one was shot in the head. A young woman is also reported to be suffering from psychological problems in the wake of the shootings. Several of the adults have also been released from hospital whilst shrapnel remains embedded in their bodies.
The local community has condemned the attack, and is calling for an investigation and the dismissal of the officers responsible. They are also calling upon the armed forces to guarantee civilian freedom of movement, and for troops to clearly identify themselves.