Colombia and Cambodia have announced a new partnership in the fight against land mines, according to ABC.
Fifteen members who compose the Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action against Anti-personnel Mines (PAICMA) are taking a course directed by the Center for Mine Action in Cambodia (CMAC) in Battamburg, Cambodia, one of the regions disproportionately affected by land mines.
Natalia Perez, a program development consultant in Colombia said, “When the CMAC decontaminate an area, they simultaneously educated about risk, assist victims, and collect information. In Colombia, these actions are split by several organizations. In Cambodia, we see the importance of comprehensive action, and how to do everything at once in order to be more efficient.”
In Cambodia, CMAC performs plays, sings songs, and leads drawing activities to teach children what to do in the event that they encounter a mine.
Camilo Benitez, the international cooperation advisor said “Up until now, land mines have been a human rights issue in Colombia. Like in Cambodia, we are interested in now linking action and community development.”
While there is much in common between the two countries, Colombia is still suffering from ongoing violence, whereas Cambodia is peaceful. In Colombia, alerting authorities may sometimes carry a risk for the informant.
Cambodia, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, has a poor health system, and hopes to learn more about victim assistance from Colombia.
Colombia maintains the record for the most land mine victims in the world.