Antioquia has the most landmine victims
On March 5th a peasant farmer was killed when he was picking up some wood and accidentally stepped on an anti-personnel mine in Puerto Valdivia; he became the latest victim in Antioquia, where these mortal traps have caused more injuries and deaths than in any other Colombian city. The numbers become even more alarming when one considers that Colombia is second only to Afghanistan in terms of nations affected by this violent illegal practice.
Out of 9,642 people hurt or killed by mines between 1990 and January of this year, 2,180 are from Antioquia, which is 23 percent of the national total, according to the Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action against Mines (Paicma). The organization’s director, Daniel Avila, said that despite a reduction in the number of accidents over the past five years, civilians as well as men and women in uniform continue to fall victims to the explosive artifacts use so often by illegal armed groups to keep authorities at bay and maintain control of key areas.
Last year 98 people (44 civilians and 54 members of the Public Forces), were victims in Antioquia. 18 of them died and the 80 remaining suffered injuries like blindness, amputation or hearing traumas. In 2011, the IV Brigade of the Army dug up 140 mines and confiscated 1,575 ready to be installed.