Humanitarian Disarmament in Colombia
Colombia is believed to be one of the most landmine contaminated countries in the world, and it still records some of the highest numbers of accidents per year.
The contamination is the result of decades of conflict with non-state armed groups ( NSAG ) which has led to a huge displacement of persons. The government has registered more than 5 million Internally Displaced Persons ( IDP ). It is believed that landmines are dispersed throughout 40 % of the national territory, affecting 31 of 32 departments (states) and one of every two municipalities.
MBT : state party; clearance deadline: 1 March 2021.
CCM : signed, not ratified.
In Colombia, Norwegian People's Aid is involved in a pilot project to clear Anti-Personnel Mines (APMs), Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Unexploded Ordnance (UXOs), and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs). NPA is coordinating a team consisting of representatives of the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP, which is now deployed in El Orejon, Antioquia. The efforts are accompanied by the ICRC and the guarantor countries Norway and Cuba.
NPAs programme in Colombia will be NPA’s second humanitarian disarmament engagement in South America. (In 2012 NPA responded to a request by both Chile and Peru, in supporting with survey and clearance efforts on the border).
NPA also supported Grenada in their compliance efforts towards Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2012.
Between 1982 and 2013, Landmine Monitor recorded 10,626 casualties, including 2157 deaths and 8469 injuries. Civilians accounted for 37% of the total and children accounted for 26% of civilian casualties.
The contamination comprises of home-made victim activated devices, which are commonly used. During surveys, there has been reporting of explosive material found made from plastic containers and soft drink bottles.