The FARC Offer Money to Recruit Ecuadorean Youth

By Dialogo
December 07, 2010

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a communist group, are offering cell phones, money, and other gifts to convince Ecuadorean young people to join their ranks, according to what a teenage girl who said she had been contacted by the guerrilla group told the press.

“I was going to go of my own free will; no one was demanding it of me. The girl I knew told me that they give us all kinds of things there; they give us money and many things,” she said in an interview with the Guayaquil daily El Universo.

“But now I don’t want to know anything about the FARC,” added the girl, whose name was not made public and who knew two teenagers who died in mid-November when the Colombian military bombed one of the guerrilla group’s camps in the department of Nariño (in southern Colombia), very near the border with Ecuador.

A total of sixteen presumed guerrillas died in the attack.

Afterward, the Ecuadorean foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, demanded that children not be involved in the Colombian armed conflict.

“We have to denounce this, being absolutely furious about it, and demand that no one, whether governments or irregular forces, involve children and young people in a conflict of this nature; this is a criminal action,” Patiño said then.

The FARC, created in 1964, are believed to have between 7,000 and 11,000 guerrilla fighters at present.

In recent years, the Colombian armed forces have engaged them in frontal combat, which has driven them back into the most remote areas of the country, in many cases near the borders with Ecuador and Venezuela.