JAMUNDI, Colombia – Authorities in a small town in Colombia report teenagers are dropping out of school, because they are finding job opportunities in the coca fields that help to feed the demand for cocaine in the United States.
Jamundi is a small town remembered in Colombia for a decade-old massacre that left 10 police officers and a civilian dead, and 15 soldiers in prison for narcotrafficking and murder. The town made news again this week, as authorities reported teenagers were dropping out of school in growing numbers.
The town, south of the city of Cali, elected a new mayor in April, Edgar Yandy Hermida, who reported the concerning trend. He said the teenagers' relatives have allowed them to drop out, because there is opportunity for them at coca fields and illegal mining.
Liliana Aparicio, a public schools administrator, told RCN Noticias that they have identified the areas where more children are abandoning the public schools and will be partnering with social workers to develop a preventive program.