United States Donates Demining Equipment to Ecuador
By Dialogo October 02, 2012
The United States provided Ecuador with equipment to demine the shared border with Peru, on September 28. This border area endured armed conflicts in 1981 and 1995, informed official sources.
During a ceremony in which Adam Namm, the U.S. ambassador in Quito, made the official donation, officials said that the equipment is valued at $500,000, and includes safety gear, helmets, and metal detectors.
Part of the cooperation from the United States included having U.S. Military demining experts previously train the Ecuadorean soldiers.
The gear will be used for demining the area known as Cordillera del Cóndor, where Ecuador and Peru engaged in armed conflicts back in 1981 and 1995, due to an old territorial controversy that concluded after a peace agreement was signed in 1998.
“In about ten years, we have extracted over 200,000 landmines. I believe there will be about 100,000 more landmines to extract, although it is very difficult to give an exact number,” Cristóbal Carrillo, member of Ecuadorean Army Corps of Engineers, told the press.
This contribution was provided as part of the Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) program under the Organization of American States (OAS), according to a statement by the Ecuadorean Ministry of Defense.
Last June, Ecuador and Peru announced the creation of a bilateral unit for demining that would be used in international operations coordinated by the United Nations.