Popayán girl latest victim of stray bullets fired in Colombia´s drunken celebrations
An innocent girl in Popayán on New Year´s Day joined hundreds of other Colombians wounded or killed by the drunken revellers celebrating by blindly firing gunshots at the sky.
The usually wildly drunk gangsters seem oblivious or unconcerned that in one place or another their bullets will fall to the earth.
Some 258 innocent Colombians – almost half of them children – were struck by the bullets during celebrations in Colombia in 2013. And 48 of them died from their injuries, according to police statistics.
The girl in Popayán was “gravely injured” and it is not known whether she will survive.
Independent blogger La Paz, Cesar said in a report on website ( http://lapazcesarinforma.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/estilista-muerta-a-bala-en-la-paz/ ) that a female hairstylist was killed in a similar New Year´s celebration in northern Colombia.
Colombia is battling back against this insane custom. Earlier this week Colombia’s national police chief announced a reward of a $1-million-peso reward ($552 Canadian) for information leading to the conviction of any guilty person.
“We continue suffering unjust deaths which could have been avoided if we had more responsible use, possession and handling of these weapons,” General Rodolfo Palomino said in an interview published in Colombia’s national newspaper El Espectador.
An earlier analysis by international conflict analysts El Centro de Recursos para el Análisis de Conflictos found that almost 50 per cent of the victims of such crimes are children.
“The majority of shooters are involved in criminal gangs or organized crime,” said the report issued by CERAC in December 2013.
The report demonstrated how badly Colombia needs public help in investigating and prosecuting such profitless crimes.
“Only 14 per cent of stray bullet cases were investigated in 2013,” the report stated. (The report by CERAC found fewer instances of injuries and deaths than did the more recent numbers provided by Colombia´s national police department.)
Other celebrations such as Colombian football (soccer) games are often the trigger for similar tragedies.
Another girl, aged nine, was killed in December when Medellin-based Atlético Nacional fans fired guns into the air to celebrate a victory.
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