The first phase of the Humanitarian Demining program that had been carried out in the country for 5 years was completed thanks to the cooperation of the Government of Japan and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
In seven training courses in Humanitarian Demining, 5 thousand men and women of the Military Forces were trained and they have deepened their knowledge on mine clearance operation, explosive ordnance deactivation, canine demining techniques, land liberation and mechanical clearance system.
The deputy Minister for Defense and Security Policies of the Ministry of Defense, Sandra Alzate, said that thanks to this triangular cooperation, Colombia is now a world reference as a resilient country and an expert in demining
With the completion of these courses it was possible to free of 285 municipalities of suspected contamination by these mines.
During this closure, new talks were in the same way opened to formalize a second phase of cooperation so that another 131 municipalities, which today have a high level of anti-personnel mines, can in the same way get out of this problem.
If the new stage is formalized with Japan, which is one of Colombia's largest cooperators, meetings will be held with the office of the High Commissioner for Peace and the Japan Cooperation Agency – JICA, to include the new training courses.
For his part, the Ambassador of Japan Takasugi Masahiro said that mines are a threat to this country and assured that the investment of 20 million non-refundable dollars has been done for training, equipment and assistance to the victims.
Finally, Deputy Minister Alzate recalled that, 60 percent of mine victims have been members of Military Forces in compliance with their constitutional mandate.
Source: sectoral communication - Ministry of National Defense