An NGO has reported that five civilians were killed and 64 others were wounded by landmines and other explosives in the first half of 2014 in Colombia, local media reported on Thursday.
The NGO Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (CCCM) reported these figures in a press release, explaining that from January 1 to June 30, 2014, there were a total of 71 victims of explosives, where “64 were injured, five were killed, and two are yet to be determined.”
Of the wounded civilians, 39 were minors between 12 and 17 years old, and five were elderly victims over 60 years of age, Bogota‘s Caracol Radio reported.
Putumayo records largest number of victims; Antioquia, Choco follow
CCCM reported that the southwest state of Putumayo recorded almost half of the victims of explosives, with 32 cases documented.
Thirty-one of the victims in Putumayo were injured in the western oil municipality of Orito, where there exists a strong guerrilla presence.
Following Putumayo in the number of victims was the state of Antioquia with 10 victims, and the Pacific coastal state of Choco with eight.
Peace talks have not stalled explosive violence; CCCM calls for change
The report indicated that injuries from explosives and land minds occurred in 11 of the 32 states of Colombia.
Since the start of the peace talks in November 2012 between the largest guerrilla group in Colombia, the FARC, and the Colombian government, CCCM has recorded 607 victims of landmines and other explosive devices in the country.
Of the victims, 224 were civilians and 374 were members of the National Security Force.
Seventy-six of the victims were minors, 69 were from indigenous communities, and six were Afro-Colombians.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos recently stated that FARC is “digging its own grave” with bombing attacks on Colombian infrastructure that could put an end to the peace talks.
The NGO looks to put an end to landmines and other explosive violence before the conclusion of the peace talks in Havana, Cuba.
“The CCCM calls on the national government, the FARC-EP and the ELN [Colombia’s 2nd largest guerrilla group] for the creation of a “Special Agreement” on landmines before the end of the conflict, allowing the protection of civilians and to overcome the limitations that are imposed on children in various regions of the country for the full enjoyment of their rights,” the report read.