BOGOTA – A 13-year-old girl carrying seven kilos (15.4 pounds) of marijuana in a backpack was detained in the northeastern Colombian city of Bucaramanga and turned over to the child welfare department, police said Tuesday.
Officers in Bucaramanga, the capital of Santander province, spotted the girl walking strangely on Monday, stopped her and found the drugs inside her backpack.
A gang engaged in small-time drug sales used the girl to transport the marijuana, Bucaramanga Metropolitan Police chief Gen. Jose Angel Mendoza said.
The child welfare department will hold the girl until it locates her parents.
The use of children to transport drugs rose 18 percent last year, compared to 2009, in Colombia, the National Police said in a recent report.
Drug traffickers are taking advantage of a 2006 law that does not establish penalties for minors caught smuggling drugs. EFE