BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian authorities said Tuesday that they've 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 kilos) and measured 14.5 inches (47 centimeters), 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 what was happening" at the moment of birth, Gonzalez told The Associated Press by phone. He said he had to operate because at that age the pelvis is still growing "and it's too small for the fetus to pass through the vaginal canal."
He said the mother, who was discharged from the clinic in good health, is also relatively short at 4 feet, 7 inches (142 centimeters).