Joint news release of the Embassy of Canada to Colombia and the Organization of American States

Press Release
December 3, 2020

The Embassy of Canada to Colombia and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) are pleased to announce their renewed cooperation in assisting the Colombian government in reducing and, ultimately, eliminating anti-personnel mines and other explosive remnants of war in Colombia. The 2-year project, Mine Risk Education and Community Liaison in Support of Humanitarian Demining in Colombia, aims to reduce the number of landmine accidents and the number of victims they produce by promoting safe behaviours among members of affected communities, primarily rural ones, until all explosive hazards can be cleared. Funding for this effort is being provided by the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program of Global Affairs Canada, with supported activities carried out by the OAS program Comprehensive Action Against Anti-personnel Mines.

The project began in July 2020 with 2 virtual workshops to train community promoters who then began working in 30 mine-affected municipalities in September to provide risk education to men, women, boys and girls. These community promoters serve as a key link between the general public, local authorities and the military units assigned to clear landmines and other explosive hazards from their communities. Colombia has made significant progress in reducing the impact of landmines in the country since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement, with 407 municipalities once classified as mine-affected now considered free of the threat of explosive hazards. However, another 324 municipalities remain to be fully cleared. The project aims to assist a total of 40 municipalities where military demining brigades are operating in the prevention of mine accidents and the identification of suspected mined areas.

The Embassy of Canada to Colombia and the OAS remain committed to supporting Colombia in its efforts to eliminate the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Colombia.