Colombia: May 13, 2003


 Another 20 rebels have surrendered, making it over 500 who have done so to date this year. Last year, about 1,200 surrendered. The government has an amnesty and rehabilitation program for rebels who turn themselves in. The rebels try to prevent desertions by threatening family members of rebel fighters. And these threats are usually carried out, with wives, parents and siblings being murdered or tortured. The government has responded by taking control of areas where rebel families live, thus making it easier for rebels to desert. Increasingly, the rebels are forcibly drafting teenagers to fight for them. 




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