On June 15, the Inter-American Technical Advisory Group in Colombia (GATI-CO, in Portuguese) celebrated its sixth anniversary with training and advisory missions for members of the Colombian Military Forces.
GATI-CO was created from the Cooperation and Technical Advisory Agreement between the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) and the Inter-American Defense Board, which today is part of the Organization of American States.
The agreement, signed on January 7, 2015, aims to train Colombian Military Forces’ service members to ensure compliance with quality management in humanitarian demining operations, based on international standards, national standards, and operational procedures adopted in the country.
The group’s mission began on June 15, 2015, and had the initial support of the Joint Directorate for Explosives and Demining.
Brazilian service members who contributed to the mission and current Inter-American advisors have trained and certified close to 180 Colombian service members as national humanitarian demining monitors.
The Brazilian Army Corps of Engineers has contributed technical advice to the CGFM, essential for demining activities, as well as for the update and unification process of operational procedures used in humanitarian demining organization operations.
Current members of GATI-CO, Brazilian Army Major Cláudio Santos Bispo, and Brazilian Navy Lieutenant Gustavo Lopes da Silva Freitas continue to improve some activities and implement other new activities for the National Humanitarian Demining Monitors Course. The goal is to improve the training of domestic monitors, with instructions and evaluations based on current operations in the country.
Additionally, Brazilian service members will participate in Military Forces General Inspection working groups, assisting on studies and analysis for the implementation of Colombian technical standards, which will be required for quality management of demining operations in the country.
Brazil’s participation has been key to the consolidation of one of the main objectives of the Colombian Military Forces: to free the country from explosive devices and mines that still harm Colombian people.