During his recent official visit to Peru, Ecuadorean Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal Aguirre and his Peruvian counterpart, José Urquizo Maggia, agreed to create a Binational Humanitarian Demining Unit that will be available to the United Nations to carry out demining work on peace missions around the world. The experience gained by Military personnel from both countries in clearing antipersonnel and antitank mines in areas of complicated access, such as the Cóndor mountain range along the border, serves as the basis for the bilateral proposal.
Highlights of the agreements achieved at the meeting include the decision to create a commission to develop defense industrial and technological projects; to increase the exchange of Military officers between the two countries’ Military educational institutions; to promote civic actions in border areas; and to strengthen the security of the shared border between the two countries.
According to studies conducted by the Inter-American Defense College, an institution dependent on the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Defense Board, the cost of demining operations is very high, since removing a mine costs approximately 100 times more than producing one. A mine can cost between 3 and 30 dollars, while between 300 and 1,000 dollars are needed to remove it.