Clearing Landmines in Colombia
Colombia has more land mine victims than any other country except Afghanistan. Since 1990, mines have killed or injured more than 11,000 people, 39% of them civilians. More than 60% of the country’s 1,123 municipalities have reported having mines or other munitions lying around.
During their peace talks last year, the government and FARC agreed to work jointly on de-mining. Since then a pilot project has managed to clear mines from five of the affected municipalities; the ambitious and probably unrealistic goal is for Colombia to be mine-free by March 1, 2021.
Under Colombia’s new amnesty laws, government troops and rebels who are found guilty of committing war crimes, sexual violence, kidnapping and torture are not to be pardoned for their crimes. Although unorthodox, the hope is that former enemies will work together to pay their debt to society by helping fulfill a crucial part of the peace process.
The joint de-mining efforts of the Government and the FARC rebels has already encountered some success. A pilot project managed to clear out mines from five of the municipalities that were affected.
As reported in Quartz.