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Chilean Army clearing antitank and antipersonnel mine fields in Tierra del Fuego

Friday, April 22nd 2011 - 05:13 UTC
Full article 79 comments
The Punta Arenas battalion is responsible for the upkeep of mine field fences and signalling  The Punta Arenas battalion is responsible for the upkeep of mine field fences and signalling

The Chilean Army is currently clearing four fields planted with anti-personnel mines in Tierra del Fuego and will move to another four once the job is finalized, reported the Commander Gonzalo Echeverria, from the 5th Engineers Battalion seated in Punta Arenas.

“Our duty involves not only clearing fields of anti personnel and anti tank mines, but equally important the maintenance of fences, perimeters and signalling of those fields in the whole of Magallanes Region”, added the commander who revealed that the region (made up of four provinces, Ultima Esperanza, Magallanes, Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Antarctica) holds 113 fields with explosives and ordnance.

“Once we are finished we are moving to San Sebastián to clear another four fields which hold ‘mixed’ mines, anti personnel and anti tank explosives, although the 2002 Ottawa convention only refers to anti personnel mines” said the Chilean Army officer.

In the province of Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) where Puerto Natales and the world famous Torres del Paine national park are located there are 13 minefields containing 4.200 anti tank mines.

However in this area along Route 9 leading to Torres del Paine north of Puerto Natales, opposite Laguna Figueroa there are another five fields with anti-personnel mines, revealed the Chilean officer.

“Our mission is to ensure regularly, that the fields are clearly marked, cordoned off, with all the international signals and tagging identifying them”, said Commander Echeverria who added that embankments along the route north protect any vehicle that might have an accident and runs off the road.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • lsolde

    Who put them there & why?

    Apr 22nd, 2011 - 09:33 am 0
  • Think

    You Anglos love multiple choice so……......................................:

    1) The Spaniards, during the 19’th century Independence wars to stop San Martin’s Argentinean troops crossing the Andes to liberate Chile.

    2) The Chilean Military Dictatorship troops during the 1970’s to stop the Argentinean Military Dictatorship troops crossing the Andes to subjugate Chile.

    3) The democratically elected President of Chile Sr. Piñera to stop the Magallanes Region into seceding to Argentina under the 2010 gas conflict.

    Apr 22nd, 2011 - 10:48 am 0
  • Martin_Fierro


    '1' seems a bit unlikely to me, I don't think Argentina had many tanks back then.
    '3' sounds a bit extreme...

    I'm gonna go with #2

    You did crash lsolde's hopes Think, he was hoping Argentina had put them there... why do you always do that? Just because they're Brits doesn't mean they don't have any feelings... even dogs have feelings.

    Apr 22nd, 2011 - 11:50 am 0
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