(Photo: Julian Castro)

Colombia’s State Council on Thursday ordered authorities to grant special reparation to female and underage victims of the country’s ongoing armed conflict.

The order came with a verdict that was delivered in the case of a mother and daughter who lost their husband/father in a 1997 FARC attack on a police station in the state of Nariño in June 1997.

Nariño, located in the south west of the country, is one of the states most affected by violence in the country and an iconic example of the direct impact drug trafficking and the armed conflict have on the population.

MORE: Nariño: Colombia’s battleground

The state council declared the national police partly responsible for the death of the policeman in 1997 because they did not respond early enough to a call for backup during the FARC attack. Furthermore, according to the verdict, the station was not properly equipped to deal with such an attack.

The high court ordered the national police to pay a $175,000 compensation to the family of the deceased and to make an official excuse.

It justified its decision with the need to recognize the special role of women and minors in armed conflict.

According to the State Council, woman and children “are generally left alone – suffering the loss of family members as a result of the disappearance or death of their partners or husbands. This leads to the dislocation and uprooting of homes already built and forces them to assume the position as head of the family – single mothers responsible for providing for the whole family.”

Particularly children “are confronted with situations that might limit the development of their personality causing severe psychological consequences. This is due to them being witnesses of traumatic experiences and the breakdown of their families and homes,” said the court.

MORE: Colombia’s ‘women warriors’ break tradition, confront violence

Sources

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