Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Police Auxiliares Graduate

In Tercer Milenio Park today hundreds of policias auxiliares celebrated their graduation. The young men are fulfilling part of their obligatory military/police service. In principle, all young Colombian men are required to fulfill such service, which can last one or two years. However, it's also legal to pay to not do it, so those who end up serving are the poor. Because of that, the battles between guerrillas and soldiers mean the poor killing the poor.

These youths are auxiliares, which means they are not full-fledged policemen. They don't carry weapons and help with things like crowd control or assisting tourists.

But some of them will become career soldiers or police officers, which can put them into the line of fire of Colombia's long armed conflict.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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