Colombian Authorities Destroy 5,000 Antipersonnel Mines from FARC

Colombian Authorities Destroy 5,000 Antipersonnel Mines from FARC

By Dialogo
May 13, 2013

The Colombian Army reported on May 9 that 5,000 antipersonnel mines from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were seized and destroyed by in a rural area of Caquetá department.

These homemade explosive devices that belonged to the FARC’s 49th squad, were found in an area known as Filo Seco, in the village of Versalles, the Army said in a statement.

“The Marte team from the sixth division was directed to the area, and through the use of 33 kilos of explosives, divided in three groups to work on 11 kilos each, they were able to achieve the controlled destruction of 5,000 mines,” said the statement.

This seizure comes after the May 5Police report on the confiscation of 2,345 antipersonnel mines from another faction of this guerrilla group in a rural area near the village of San Pablo de Anaya, also in the Caquetá department.

After Afghanistan, Colombia is the world’s highest ranking country in number of antipersonnel mines, and it has been going through an aggressive armed conflict involving guerrillas, armed groups, drug trafficking gangs and state armed organizations.

Colombian authorities blame the FARC, the oldest Latin American insurgency founded in 1964, for most of the minefields in the national territory.

However, Colombian Military forces were also planting antipersonnel mines for years, although after becoming signataries to the Ottawa Convention, they ceased this practice and started to demine their own territories.

Currently, the Colombian government and the FARC are going through peace negotiations in Havana, in which the situation of victims from the conflict must also be analyzed.