According to forensic authorities, more than 22,000 children under 18 were victims of sexual crimes in 2019, while 708 died violently.Almost 6,500 minors were allegedly sexually assaulted between January and May, the Medicina Legal body said.Until now, the maximum prison sentence in Colombia was 60 years, as the constitution banned “the penalties of exile, life imprisonment and confiscation,” although that clause has now been modified.The abuse of minors has also been a feature of the near six-decade-old conflict pitting government forces against left-wing rebels. Topics : Colombian president Ivan Duque enacted a constitutional reform Wednesday that sets a life sentence for those found guilty of rape or child murder.”Today Colombia has said no to those thugs that try to usurp the tenderness, innocence and principles of our children,” said Duque.On average, almost two children under the age of 18 are murdered every day in Colombia. The top leaders of the now dissolved Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which laid down its arms and signed a historic peace deal in 2016, face accusations of recruitment and sexual violence against children at a special court set up to try those suspected of crimes committed during the conflict.The army also recently fired 31 soldiers implicated in sexual aggressions since 2016, some against indigenous girls.The new law will not be applied retroactively, though.The law has been criticized by opposition politicians, academics and experts that claim an increase in punishments will not result in a reduction of crimes.
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