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Guerrilla’s anti-personnel mines have killed over 10.000 people in Colombia

Wednesday, September 26th 2012 - 07:25 UTC
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Vice-President Garzon called on the guerrilla groups to stop planting mines and record mine fields Vice-President Garzon called on the guerrilla groups to stop planting mines and record mine fields

Tens of thousands of anti-personnel mines and unexploded live munitions have caused over 10.000 fatal victims since 1990 in Colombia, the year when the country started to take records on accidents with this kind of ordnance, said Vice-president Angelino Garzón.

In a public statement regarding what he called the “dishonourable figure”, Garzon said that the number of killed by these deadly weapons planted by the guerrillas amounted to 6.222 military personnel and 3.779 civilians.

“We want a Colombia with no more antipersonnel mine victims, free of these deadly explosive artefacts” said Garzon who is responsible for the policy against the scourge together with the Presidential Program for Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines, Paicma.

The task of de-mining in Colombia has the support from the international community and next 27 September the government of President Juan Manuel Santos will formalize a funding agreement with the European Union valued in 11 million dollars, which is to be invested in risk education, victims assistance and humanitarian demining.

The latest victims reported were six children from a rural village to the southwest of the country who were playing unknowingly with a live fragmentation grenade they found in a near by field. A three year old girl died and the other five suffered injuries.

The victims are children, teen-agers, women, indigenous people, Afro-descendents, peasants, workers, soldiers, policemen said Garzón who added that all those killed and wounded in these accidents since 1990 deserve to be honoured and helped so they can make their dreams come true with a future free of violence and war.

The Colombian Vice-President insisted that illegal armed groups cease planting anti personnel mines and report the mined fields so the civilian population can be spared from tragedy, while the task of de-mining and destroying the explosives can begin.

“Only this way can we clear the mines from the land the peasants need so much to develop their communities which would be an enormous contribution to the peace we all Colombians aspire”, said Garzón.

Colombia is the world’s second country most punished by antipersonnel mines, after Afghanistan, according to the International Campaign for the Banning of Landmines, ICBL.

The Colombian government estimates that over 100.000 antipersonnel mines have been planted by the two main guerrilla groups: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC and the National Liberation Army, ELN. Besides mines the half a century old conflict has left thousands of live ordnance and the so called improvised explosive artefacts spread along battlefields, jungles and peasants’ fields.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • pecurto

    Comment removed by the editor.

    Sep 26th, 2012 - 11:12 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1 In English, dummy. Can't you read the rules?

    Sep 26th, 2012 - 11:34 am 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    2 Conqueror
    That's right! You should read them too.

    ”However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated”

    Sep 27th, 2012 - 03:40 am 0
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