Colombia and the European Union on Friday signed a pact on de-mining 12 of Colombia’s 32 departments which are most affected by the scourge of landmines.
The government of Colombia and the EU signed an $11 million agreement to strengthen the action against landmines which have killed 10,001 victims since records began in 1990.
The money of the agreement “Strengthening the Action against Anti-personnel Mines in Colombia” will be aimed at educating on the risk of mines, assisting victims and de-mining.
The project covers the northern departments of Antioquia, Arauca, Bolivar, Cordoba, Norte de Santander and Santander; the southern departments of Caqueta and Putumayo; the southwestern departments of Nariño and Cauca; and the central departments of Meta and Tolima.
These departments were chosen for the project due to “the suspicion for landmines, unexploded munitions and improvised explosive artifacts,” and for their impact on civilians and the number of victims.
The policy of the government also includes the restitution of land and the return of the population.
Figures provided recently by the vice-presidency put Colombia as one of the countries most affected in the world by land-mines, second only to Afghanistan.
The vice president qualified this number as “shameful” and demanded the illegal armed groups to cease planting the anti-personnel mines and inform the population about the mine fields in order to prevent more fatalities.