Only one week after the start of the Manual Clearance operations, a certified team from the civilian humanitarian demining organization HUMANICEMOS DH identified an antipersonnel mine with pressure activation system in the Unión Cordillera de La Montañita, Caquetá. This is the first explosive device found by personnel in the reincorporation process of this organization, which in turn is a new milestone for peace in Colombia.
Hazardous area clearance is aimed at the identification and subsequent removal of explosive devices that put people’s lives at risk. “We, as reincorporated persons, are happy to start contributing with our work to this reconciliation process with the communities, which will soon be able to move freely through their territories”, highlights Élver Monroy, deminer of HUMANICEMOS DH who found this first explosive device. The finding is the result of the meticulous work carried out since last October by the Non-Technical Survey (NTS) teams, whose objective was to identify areas with possible contamination.
“This first finding made by HUMANICEMOS DH’s Manual Clearance teams is a small step, even a routine one for a civilian humanitarian demining organization, but it is a substantial leap for the peace process in Colombia.”, highlights Jan Philip Klever, Program Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Colombia, an entity that since 2017 has trained reincorporated personnel in humanitarian demining work, and which by mandate of the Colombian government is also in charge of monitoring the quality of these operations.
“EACH MINE IDENTIFIED IS ONE LESS VICTIM”.
“With this milestone we demonstrate that we are now ready to meet our goal of rebuilding the territories affected by the presence of explosive devices. Each mine identified and destroyed is one less victim.” says Ángela Orrego, Director of HUMANICEMOS DH, the first mine action organization in the world composed and led by people in the process of reincorporation, which emerged after a peace agreement.
This achievement is the result of the articulated work between the National Government, UNMAS, HUMANICEMOS DH and the European Union, which through the European Fund for Peace has financed since February 2020 the second phase of the Humanicemos Project, which has been implemented by UNMAS Colombia with the objective of strengthening the organizational and operational capacities of HUMANICEMOS DH, as well as promoting reincorporation and reconciliation. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
HUMANICEMOS DH projects that this area of the Unión Cordillera trail will be completely cleared by the month of June. The elimination of threats and the subsequent delivery of these lands to the communities so that they can be used again for productive activities is the final stage of the humanitarian demining operations in Colombia and constitutes the starting point for the restitution of violated rights.
OACP ASSIGNS A SECOND MUNICIPALITY TO HUMANICEMOS DH
As a sign of confidence in these capabilities acquired by HUMANICEMOS DH, on December 10, 2020 the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace (OHCHR) notified the organization of the following the assignment of a second municipality to expand their humanitarian demining work: Solita, Caquetá.. The first municipality assigned by the OACP in 2017 was La Montañita, also in Caquetá, headquarters of the regional training and operations base of HUMANICEMOS DH.