An 11-year-old girl found to be carrying 500g of drugs in her stomach is thought to be Columbia's youngest ever drugs mule.

The girl, who has not been named, was carrying more than 100 capsules of drugs, which were destined for the streets of Europe.

Police said they are attempting to track down the girl's father.

She is currently recovering in hospital under armed guard after having the capsules surgically removed from her stomach.

Cali police commander Hoover Penilla said: "She is out of surgery after 104 capsules were removed, which at the moment are being tested to determine what illegal drug it was.

"All the signs suggest that ... she was being used in this twisted way by adults."

The girl's parents are separated, and according to her mother she had been staying with her father over the weekend.

When she returned she said she felt unwell, and she was taken to hospital where the drugs were discovered, said Penilla.

Colombia and Peru are the world's two largest cocaine exporters, according to UN figures.

In Mexico, minors are frequently used by drugs cartels to smuggle drugs across the border into the US.

Between 2003 and 2013 978 minors were caught by US authorities, and charged with drug smuggling, with some as young as 12 having been stopped at the border.