Police have arrested 29 people for sexual violence against minors during May, according to a government statement released on Tuesday. 

Nine people were arrested in Bogota, and 20 in various other parts of the country in May, as a result of ‘Operation Justice,’ according to the National Police report.

The joint operation led by Colombia’s Prosecutor General and the National Police aims to curb the epidemic of child sexual abuse in Colombia.

According to the statement, the alleged abusers were family members or friends of the victims’ family, including parents and teachers. Some of the victims were apparently disabled, suffering from “mild mental retardation,” and in one case the offender was HIV positive.

In April, The Center for Research and Comprehensive Care for Victims of Sexual Abuse (CAIVAS) told Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper that there had been nearly 1,400 registered allegations of sexual abuse in Colombia since the beginning of 2014, and that according to official figures, 80% of those cases involved minors.

MORE: 1,300 registered allegations of sexual abuse reported in Colombia this year

Colombia’s National Police say they have captured 2,099 alleged sex offenders so far to date in 2014. However, the report did not reveal how many suspects have been sentenced or the severity of the sentences handed down.

MORE: Impunity for sexual violence in Colombia reaches 98%: International forum


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