10-year-old Gives Birth

April 10, 2012 by staff 

10-year-old Gives Birth, Colombian authorities have been frustrated in their attempts to file criminal charges against the young father of a baby born two weeks ago to a 10-year-old ethnic Wayuu girl.

That’s because the Wayuu people have their own justice system and rarely cooperate with agents of the Colombian state in such matters, said Maria Gladys Pabon, chief prosecutor in Riohacha, the regional capital.

Under Colombian law, any sexual relations with a child age 14 or younger is a crime punishable by at least nine years in prison.

But legal and indigenous affairs experts say that under Colombia’s 1991 constitution the Wayuu have jurisdiction.

The girl, who cannot be identified by law, gave birth on March 29 via Caesarean section and is one of the youngest mothers on record.

The father, who authorities say is 15, also cannot be identified.

The baby weighed 5.6 pounds (2.6 kilograms) and measured 47 centimetres, said Dr. Fabio Gonzalez, who delivered the child in a private clinic in Riohacha, on the Guajira peninsula in Colombia’s northeast coast.

“She barely understood was happening” at the moment of birth, Gonzalez told The Associated Press by phone.

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