ECUADOR: Demining Efforts Get a Lift

ECUADOR: Demining Efforts Get a Lift

By Dialogo
January 01, 2013



Ecuador’s demining program just got a boost of $500,000 in equipment from the
United States via the Organization of American States’ Comprehensive Action Against
Anti-personnel Mines. Combined with European donations in early 2012, Ecuador’s
efforts to eradicate land mines on the border with Peru is on track for completion
by 2017.
“This half a million dollars just in equipment is very significant; it
enables the Ecuadoreans to have more people working simultaneously on clearance
operations,” Carl Case, general coordinator for the program, told Diálogo. The OAS
program works jointly with the governments of Ecuador and Peru on the demining
efforts. Case continued, “They have certainly increased in terms of efficiency and
in terms of the output of land that is cleared.”
Ecuador has between 70 and 100 demining workers on the border, while Peru has
between 40 and 70 on their side of the border and another unit of 20 to 30 demining
within the country, Case said. Although relatively few people have been injured and
killed since the conflict between the two countries ended in 1995, the mines
continue to present a hazard along the border and to the indigenous people who live
there.
The donated equipment includes an orbital sifting machine and rock crusher
that are used in the difficult border terrain of rocky cliffs and riverbeds, where
manual clearing is not possible.
“The primary issue is that it’s part of the peace process and the confidence
building that continues between Peru and Ecuador,” Case concluded.
Sources: OAS, http://spanish.ecuador.usembassy.gov

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