+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Colombia, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: Colombia began destroying its stockpile of antipersonnel landmines in June 2003. In May 2004, Colombia reported a revised plan in which the stockpile would be destroyed by 25 October 2004, prior to the First Review Conference. The use of mines by guerrillas, especially FARC, continued at a significant level. Efforts to engage Colombian non-state actors on the antipersonnel mine ban increased in 2003 and 2004. All but two of the country’s 32 departments are now mine-affected. There is still no systematic humanitarian demining underway, but mine risk education activities are expanding. Colombia hosted a regional seminar on victim assistance in Bogotá on 12-14 November 2003. In 2003, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory registered 668 new landmine/UXO casualties.

Key developments since 1999: Colombia ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 6 September 2000, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2001. National implementation legislation, Law 759, came into effect on 25 July 2002. In November 1999, Colombia’s antipersonnel mine production facilities were destroyed. Colombia began destroying its stockpile of 20,312 landmines in June 2003. Colombia served as co-rapporteur then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socioeconomic Reintegration from September 2001 to September 2003. On 8 October 2001, the government established a commission (CINAMA) to coordinate mine action and oversee implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. The government’s Antipersonnel Mine Observatory became operational in 2001. A National Mine Action Plan was approved on 27 February 2003. In March 2003, Colombia and the Organization of American States signed an Agreement on Cooperation and Technical Assistance for mine action. There is no systematic humanitarian demining underway, but mine risk education activities have expanded. Guerrilla groups, most notably the FARC, have used antipersonnel mines throughout the period; the government reports significant increases in use in 2003 and 2004. The number of mine-affected municipalities increased from 125 in 1999 to 422 in 2003. Between 1999 and 2003, the Observatory registered 1,753 new mine casualties. The number of reported new casualties has increased significantly since 1999, with 235 percent more casualties reported in 2002 than 2001.

Mine Ban Policy

Colombia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 6 September 2000, and became a State Party on 1 March 2001. On 20 June 2002 the National Congress approved Colombia’s national implementation legislation, Law 759, which came into effect following Presidential approval on 25 July 2002. The legislation contains penal sanctions of between 10 and 15 years, a fine that is 500 to 1,000 times the official minimum monthly salary,[1] and prohibition from public office for a period of five to ten years. If the antipersonnel mine is equipped with an antihandling device or set up like a booby-trap, the violation is punishable by 15 to 20 years of imprisonment, a fine of 1,000 to 2,000 times the official minimum monthly salary, and prohibition of public office for ten years. Anyone who encourages, assists, facilitates, stimulates, or induces other persons to participate in violations could be imprisoned for between six and ten years or fined 200 to 500 times the official minimum monthly salary.[2]

Colombia was among the “core group” of nations driving the Ottawa Process that led to the Mine Ban Treaty. It has voted in support of every pro-ban United Nations General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003. Since the treaty’s entry into force, Colombia has remained actively engaged. It has participated in every annual Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, and most of the intersessional Standing Committee meetings, including those held in February and June 2004. Colombia served as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration from September 2001 to September 2003.

Colombia hosted a regional seminar on victim assistance in Bogotá on 12-14 November 2003.[3] The meeting was opened by Francisco Santos Calderón, Colombia’s Vice President and President of the National Mine Action Commission (CINAMA).[4] In April 2004, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and then-OAS General Secretary Cesar Gaviria spoke at an event organized by the Colombian government in Washington, DC to engage various organizations working on the mine issue.[5] Previously, on 17 April 2002, the Vice President’s Office hosted a landmines forum in Bogotá.[6]

Colombia has participated in several regional meetings on landmines, including in Ecuador (August 2004), Perú (August 2003), Argentina (November 2000), and México (January 1999).

Colombia submitted its annual Article 7 report on 11 May 2004. The 144-page report covered the period 1 May 2003 to April 2004, and included voluntary Form J on victim assistance efforts. This was the country’s fourth Article 7 report.[7] Its initial report, which was due on 28 August 2001, was submitted 15 March 2002.

Colombia has rarely engaged in the extensive discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3, and the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training. However, during the June 2004 intersessional meetings, Colombia made a strong and unequivocal statement that any mine that is victim-activated is an antipersonnel mine, and is banned. Colombia expressed concern that the threshold of what constitutes an antipersonnel mine was being limited or narrowed, and stressed that the treaty is a comprehensive ban.[8]

Colombia is a State Party to Amended Protocol II of the Convention of Conventional Weapons (CCW). It attended the Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties to the Protocol in November 2003, but did not submit a national annual report under Article 13 for 2003.

Non-Governmental Activities

The Colombian Campaign Against Landmines (Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, CCCM) has been active in promoting the Mine Ban Treaty and in mine action in the country since 1996.[9] With support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2003 and 2004 CCCM significantly strengthened its capacity to carry out initiatives and activities at the departmental level, establishing campaign coordinators in fourteen departments.[10] It participated in a “Peso a Peso” co-financing system that develops economic and employment opportunity programs for landmine survivors and their families. CCCM continued to issue a quarterly national bulletin on mine action activities in the country called “Colombia sin minas” (Colombia without mines).

Another Colombian civil society mine action group, the Humanitarian Alliance for Mine Action in Colombia (Alianza Humanitaria de Acción contra Minas Antipersonal Colombia, Alianza), was established February 2001.[11] Alianza member organizations have carried out mine impact studies and mine risk education, and have assisted in the preparation of governmental bulletins on the landmine problem in Colombia.[12]

On 26-30 January 2004, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) held its annual regional Landmine Monitor researchers meeting in Colombia, marking the first time that ICBL members had officially visited the country. The ICBL issued a press release condemning continued antipersonnel mine use by non-state actors, calling for the establishment of humanitarian demining, urging increased efforts to assist mine survivors, and calling on the government to complete stockpile destruction by the 2004 Nairobi Review Conference.[13] They held a regional seminar on mine action goals for the Review Conference, with the support of the Canadian embassy, and with UNICEF’s support, visited the mine-affected municipality of Zaragoza, Antioquia.

Non-State Actors

Colombia remains the only country in the Americas region where antipersonnel mines and improvised explosives devices (IEDs) continue to be used on a daily basis. Landmine use is just one feature of the armed conflict that has affected the country for over 40 years. Various non-state actors (NSAs) are party to the conflict, principal among them are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, UC-ELN). Smaller groups include the Popular Liberation Army (Ejército Popular de Liberación, EPL) and the People’s Revolutionary Army (Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo, ERP). Paramilitary forces fighting in the conflict included the large umbrella organization United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC) and smaller groups such as the Self-Defense Peasant Forces of the Casanare (Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare, ACC) and the Self-Defense Peasant Forces of Meta and Vechada (Autodefensas Campesinas del Meta y Vechada, ACMV).[14]

On several occasions, the Colombian government has called on States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty to take more action to condemn antipersonnel mine use and production by non-state actors.[15] Efforts to engage Colombian NSAs on the antipersonnel mine ban increased in 2003 and 2004. On 4-5 June 2004, the government allowed imprisoned ELN spokesperson Francisco Galán to leave the Itagüí prison near Medellín to participate in a forum on landmines held in the Colombian Senate and hosted by CCCM and the Geneva Call, a Swiss NGO that seeks to secure support from NSAs for the mine ban through its Deed of Commitment. On behalf of the ELN Central Command, Galán proposed a humanitarian agreement with the government to limit the use of landmines and IEDs, among other measures, and he invited Geneva Call and CCCM to work together with ELN to construct the agreement.[16] Vice President Francisco Santos Calderón opened the forum, which was attended by Senators, government officials, diplomatic representatives, and NGOs.[17]

This was the first time that ELN had discussed limiting its mine use. Previously in May 2003, members of ELN’s Central Command based in Havana, Cuba, informed CCCM and the Geneva Call that it was not prepared to stop using mines, but it would be willing to explore the possibility of reaching local agreements to reduce the negative impact of antipersonnel mine use on civilian populations.[18]

In January 2004, CCCM, the Geneva Call, and UNICEF announced the creation of a joint two-year pilot mine action project in the south of Bolívar department, with funding provided by the European Commission and Switzerland. According to Geneva Call, the initiative would allow for the establishment of minefield marking and mine risk education to protect civilians living in the area.[19] As part of the project, the Geneva Call and CCCM organized a meeting on landmines and NSAs for indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities on 17-19 August 2004 in Bogotá. The groups subsequently convened regional forums on the issue in Medellín, Antioquia on 20 August and in Bucaramanga, Santander on 25 August 2004.[20]

The ELN’s Francisco Galán participated via telephone in the Antioquia forum and the Governor of the department, Aníbal Gaviria, proposed the establishment of mine clearance in heavily mine-affected municipalities including Argelia, San Carlos, and San Francisco.[21] On 27 August 2004, media reported that the AUC supported the proposal to start mine clearance in northwestern Antioquia.[22] On 3 September 2004, Antioquia’s Governor Gaviria established a humanitarian commission for Antioquia tasked with developing a plan to reach an agreement for mine clearance, initially in the west, and to develop a strategy for community rehabilitation and socioeconomic reintegration of landmine survivors and their families.[23] Both the ELN guerrillas and AUC paramilitary forces expressed support for the initiative and during a ceremony swearing in members of the commission, the AUC provided a statement offering its support for the initiative.[24]


Colombia is a former producer of antipersonnel mines. The José María Córdoba factory of the state-owned Industria Militar (INDUMIL) reportedly produced two versions of one type of antipersonnel mine: the MN-MAP-1 and MN-MAP-2. The MN-MAP-2 is reportedly a training mine.[25] According to a January 2002 government report, INDUMIL produced 22,300 MN-MAP-1 antipersonnel mines between 1989 and 1996.[26] Of these, 19,706 mines were transferred to the Armed Forces (16,410 to the Army, 2,590 to the Navy, and 706 to the Air Force), 52 were used in technical tests, and the remaining 2,542 were destroyed.[27] In January 2000, the Armed Forces reported that antipersonnel mine production ceased in September 1998 and production equipment was destroyed on 18 November 1999.[28]

INDUMIL also produces the Claymore-type mine directional fragmentation mine (Carga Direccional Dirigida, CDD),[29] reported to be used only in command-detonated mode,[30] which is permitted under the Mine Ban Treaty. Measures taken to ensure the mines can only be used in command-detonated mode have not been reported.

Armed non-state actors in Colombia produce a variety of antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices made from commonly available materials and explosives. The governmental Office of the Vice President has identified the following types of homemade landmines made and used by non-state actors:[31]

  • Mina quiebrapatas (a “legbreaker” mine usually buried in the ground);
  • Mina tipo sombrero chino (a Chinese hat-type conical mine with a radius of 25 meters);
  • Mina tipo cajón (a wooden box mine with an “angle-shaped” metal plate);
  • Mina tipo abanico (a fan-type mine with a radius of 10 meters and a cone for gases and shrapnel);
  • Mina cumbo (a mine usually placed on tree branches);
  • Mina tipo Claymore (a Claymore-type mine often found at the side of roads and in forests);
  • Mina tipo costal (a mine in a sack thrown from higher ground);
  • mina tumbapostes (“knock down posts” mine for use at oil pipelines, energy and communication towers, and other infrastructure);
  • mina tipo abanico antivehículo (an antivehicle mine);
  • mina química (a chemical mine), and
  • mina camándula (a “malicious” mine with explosives shaped like a chain and used at the side of roads).

According to the government’s Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, between 1990 and 1 September 2004, there were 23 events involving the identification of NSA mine production facilities.[32] According to a media report, between 1993 and 1995 the Colombian Army destroyed some 17,000 antipersonnel mines manufactured by the ELN.[33]


Colombia is not known to have ever exported antipersonnel mines. In the past Colombia imported antipersonnel mines from the US, Belgium,[34] and the former Czechoslovakia.[35] According to US government documents, Colombia imported 12,132 antipersonnel mines, including 6,030 M14 blast mines in 1974, and 6,102 M18A1 Claymore mines from 1989 to 1991.[36] Colombia reports it also imported M16 antipersonnel mines from the US.[37] Non-standard nomenclatures of the antipersonnel mines declared by Colombia make it difficult to ascertain the types and origins of the mines.

There have been several instances of landmines included in illegal weapons shipments destined for the Colombian conflict. In October 2003, Colombia’s intelligence service, the Administrative Security Department (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, DAS), reported that 186 antipersonnel mines had been seized from along the Ecuadorian border since 1998.[38] In May 2003, a Panamanian court sentenced four Panamanians and three Colombians to 20 and 60 months imprisonment for attempting to import into Colombia weapons acquired in Nicaragua, including thirteen Russian antipersonnel mines.[39] In September 2002, Colombian police discovered 16 T-AB-1 Brazilian-manufactured antivehicle mines stockpiled by FARC in a forested area near the municipality of Pasto in Nariño department near the border with Ecuador.[40]

Stockpiling and Destruction

In April 2003, Colombia reported a stockpile of 23,541 antipersonnel mines, and indicated that 986 mines would be retained under Article 3 for training purposes.[41] Including the number of mines retained, the total was 4,125 more mines than declared in its initial Article 7 Report.[42] Landmine Monitor could not identify every country of origin for the mines and some appeared to be antivehicle mines.[43] A list of 4,194 antipersonnel mines provided to Landmine Monitor in July 2001 by the Colombian Navy did not appear to be included in the March 2002 report,[44] and it is not possible to determine if they were included in the April 2003 report.[45]

In its May 2004 Article 7 report, Colombia stated that 5,324 mines were destroyed between June 2003 and March 2004, and another 11,450 mines were to be destroyed between 15 April 2004 and 25 October 2004, for a total of 16,774 antipersonnel mines destroyed.[46] The Article 7 report indicated that 465 antipersonnel mines stockpiled by the Air Force would be destroyed on 1 March 2004 and 4,319 antipersonnel mines stockpiled by the Navy would be destroyed between 1 March and 25 October 2004.[47] The report did not indicate if these Air Force and Navy mines were included in the total of 16,774 mines. In June 2004, Colombia again reported that 23,541 antipersonnel mines stockpiled by the Armed Forces would be destroyed by 25 October 2004.[48]

On 5 October 2004, the Ministry of Defense provided Landmine Monitor with a document explaining the inconsistencies in reporting and destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines.[49] According to this document the difference between the total number of antipersonnel mines reported in 2002 (20,132) and 2003 (23,541) was due to, a) 2,951 mines transferred from the First Fusiliers Battalion in San Andrés to the Vergara y Velasco Battalion in Barranquilla had been registered twice; b) 1,152 MAP-2 training mines had been incorrectly registered as MAP-1 in Army deposits in 2003; and c) other errors in registries and the destruction in military units of 391 expired mines.[50] According to the Ministry of Defense, in 2001 the Armed Forces had stockpiled 21,537 antipersonnel mines, of which 20,551 would be destroyed in total and 986 would be retained.[51]

Colombia’s treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction is 1 March 2005. In May 2004, Colombia unveiled a revised plan in which the stockpile would be destroyed in eight events, with the final event scheduled for 25 October 2004, enabling Colombia to complete destruction before the Mine Ban Treaty’s First Review Conference.[52] Previously, Colombia had announced that it would destroy the mines in 246 events between June 2003 and February 2005.[53]

Landmine Monitor has documented seven destruction events between 26 June 2003 and 31 August 2004. The OAS and Canada supported the destruction events. CCCM and Landmine Monitor witnessed all these destruction events and were allowed to count the antipersonnel mines before they were destroyed. The numbers of mines is based on the certificates of the destruction events (actas de destrucción).

  • On 26 June 2003, the Army’s Alta Montaña battalion destroyed 496 Belgian-manufactured SOPRO PRB M969 antipersonnel mines in a ceremony held at Usme in Cundicamarca department and attended by Vice President Francisco Santos Calderón, and then-Minister of Defense Marta Lucía Ramírez de Rincón.[54]
  • On 30 October 2003, a total of 795 antipersonnel mines were destroyed at the same location (552 MAP-1 mines, 140 SOPRO PRB M969 mines, 99 M16 mines, and four M48). The head of the Colombian office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was among the dignitaries that witnessed the destruction.
  • On 1 March 2004, a total of 4,692 antipersonnel mines were destroyed at the same location (3,540 MAP-1 AP mines and 1,152 MAP-2 training mines).[55]
  • On 15 April 2004, the IX Army brigade destroyed 828 MAP-1 mines at Neiva in Huila department.
  • On 31 May 2004, a total of 836 MAP-1 and MAP-2 mines were destroyed at the Larandia military base, Montañita municipality in the department of Caquetá.[56]
  • On 16 July 2004, the II Brigade base destroyed 4,545 mines in an event held at Mesa de los Santos, Bucaramanga, in the department of Santander. For the first time, landmine survivors were among the witnesses in attendance.[57]
  • On 31 August 2004, the Palacé de Buga Battalion destroyed 677 mines (389 MAP-1, 268 SOPRO and 20 M16) in Valle del Cauca department.[58]

Between 26 June 2003 and 31 August 2004, then, Colombia destroyed a total of 11,717 AP mines (not including the MAP-2 training mines). According to the Armed Forces, three other destruction events have been carried out without civil society representatives present.[59] According to the September 2004 letter from the Ministry of Defense, 391 mines were destroyed in total at the Military School, at the Bejarano Muñoz Battalion, and at the Cartagena Battalion.[60]

A final stockpile destruction event was scheduled for 25 October 2004, in which according to the October 2004 letter from the Ministry of Defense, 8,288 mines would be destroyed.[61]

Previously, the government reported that 2,542 INDUMIL mines were destroyed on 2 July 1999.[62]

In May 2004, Colombia reconfirmed its intent to retain 986 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes, all of them MAP-1 mines (786 mines retained by the Army, 100 by the Air Force, and 100 by the Navy).[63]

Armed non-state actors would appear to have extensive stocks of antipersonnel mines. In addition to the documented widespread use of antipersonnel mines by NSAs, according to the Mine Observatory, between 1990 and 1 September 2004, there were 1,534 events involving the seizure of antipersonnel mines.[64]

According to a January 2004 report, the Army’s Explosives and Demolition Group (EXDE) in Santander found and destroyed weapons including 38 cajón mines, 357 quiebrapata mines, 97 abanico mines, and 151 antipersonnel mines.[65] In May 2003, media reported that FARC members captured in Medellín held antipersonnel mines.[66] In December 2003, media reported that antipersonnel mines were seized from paramilitary forces fighting the Army in the municipality of Pacho in Cundicamarca department.[67] In February 2004, the Army’s “Diosa del Chará” Battalion reportedly discovered a weapons arsenal including 40 landmines, during “Operation Leopard” in Caquetá department.[68] Between January and May 2003, at least 136 antipersonnel mines were seized according to information provided in a dozen media reports.[69] According to media, between 1993 and 1995 the Army’s Second Mobile Brigade found and destroyed 17,000 antipersonnel mines that were either hidden or laid.[70] In 1993, 2,000 antipersonnel mines were reported destroyed in Bolívar department.[71]


There are no confirmed instances of new laying of antipersonnel mines by the Colombian Army since the government signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. The FARC and ELN guerrillas are believed to be major users of antipersonnel mines and IEDs, while paramilitary groups also use antipersonnel mines.[72]

Colombia´s armed conflict dramatically changed course in 2003 and 2004 under the “democratic security policy” of President Álvaro Uribe’s administration. As the Armed Forces recovered territory ceded to the FARC by the previous administration of President Andres Pastrana in the department of Meta, guerrilla forces retreated into remote, forested areas, laying landmines as they went. In the same period, paramilitary groups began negotiations with the government, as well as a demobilization process.[73]

Landmine Monitor reported in 2001 that Colombian guerrillas had been using landmines and IEDs for more than a decade and according to information collected by CCCM had been using quiebrapata homemade mines for more than 15 years.[74] The OAS in 2003 noted that NSAs use mines not just in combat zones and around their military encampments, but also along roads that have to be used to get from one point to another (de paso obligado), around bridges, water sources, illicit crops fields, and to damage oil pipelines, as well as prevent or delay their repair.[75] According to the US Department of State, guerrilla forces use landmines to defend static positions (such as base camps, cocaine laboratories, and sites at which kidnap victims are held) and as indiscriminate weapons of terror.[76]

In August 2003, the OAS reported the Army destroyed 1,226 NSA-laid mine sites in 2002 and 2003.[77] Although in the past the Mine Observatory reported on the users responsible for landmine incidents,[78] the latest information available does not include this analysis.[79]

Media reports of antipersonnel mine use are a useful information source, but must be viewed with caution as they often report inaccurate information. The categorization of some IEDs as antipersonnel mines can also be problematic. For example, in Bolívar it was reported that a minefield had been discovered containing six antipersonnel mines of ten kilograms of R1 explosives each,[80] but according to the CCCM coordinator in Cesar, these were actually milk containers filled with explosives.[81] A number of organizations led by UNICEF Colombia are analyzing definitions in order to reach a broad agreement on the use of terminology.[82] The Observatory has also reached institutional agreements with the Armed Forces on the utilization of terminology in teaching documents.[83]

Use by Government Forces

There were no allegations of mine use by Colombian government forces in 2003 or the first half of 2004. Since the treaty entry into force in Colombia on 1 March 2001, there have been three unsubstantiated allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by government forces.

A September 2002 publication by the Colombian Ombudsman’s Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) reported that antipersonnel mines had been laid around an Army base located on Inarwa hill (also known as Aguacil), a site sacred to the Arhuaco indigenous peoples, in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia on the Caribbean coast.[84] According to the report, the mines were endangering the local community and killing cattle. In March 2004, the Commander-in-Chief of the Colombian Armed Forces, General Carlos Alberto Ospina Ovalle, told the Minister of Defense that in November 2003, the “La Popa” Army Battalion had confirmed the existence of a minefield around the Alguacil military base, and ordered its destruction. After the mines were removed, the battalion verified the clearance and informed indigenous people that they could move freely in the area.[85] On 20 April 2004, the Ministry of Defense informed the Director of the Presidential Program on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Doctor Carlos Franco Echavarría, of the communication from the General Command of the Armed Forces.[86] Neither communication indicated the date on which the antipersonnel mines had been laid at Alguacil.

A 2002 annual report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued in February 2003, stated that at the beginning of 2002 the Office was informed that the Army had mined the Munchique hills, an area crucial for telecommunications in southwestern Colombia. According to the report, the José Hilario López Battalion in Popayán claimed the mine-laying was an exceptional measure necessary to protect a power station and said the area had been clearly marked to prevent civilian casualties.[87] In response to a request for clarification, on 30 July 2003, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolina Barco Isakson informed Landmine Monitor that the type of mine used was the command-detonated Claymore mine, which the Minister noted are not considered antipersonnel mines under the definitions of the Mine Ban Treaty.[88]

In January 2001, the Peace Community (Comunidad de Paz) of San José de Apartadó issued a public communiqué that claimed a local youth had been injured by a mine laid by Colombian Army troops at a location where the Army’s Vélez and Bejarano Battalions had camped.[89] In a response to a request by Landmine Monitor, the municipality ombudsman reported on the injuries sustained by the youth, but did not mention who was responsible for laying the mine.[90] The Army’s 17th Brigade sent a denial to the State Attorney for the Urabá zone, stating that the incident had been caused by a mine planted by the FARC.[91]

Colombia has reported different and contradictory information on the number of mines and minefields laid around military installations and infrastructure. In September 2004, the Ministry of Defense reported that as of May 2004 the Armed Forces had under its jurisdiction 22 minefields, properly mapped and marked, with approximately 2,768 mines used for protection of bases and communication infrastructure.[92]

In its May 2004 Article 7 report Colombia did not provide any information on mines planted in the past at Colombian Armed Forces bases and infrastructure, but in April 2003, Colombia stated that 1,655 NM-MAP1 mines had been emplaced at Air Force and Navy bases.[93] In May 2002, the Commander of the Army’s Engineer Battalion told the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance that the Army’s 54 minefields containing over 20,000 mines were located at “strategic” sites around the country that were important for the national economy. He said there have been “no civilian casualties from these mines.”[94] In August 2002, Colombia reported a total of 9,409 landmines emplaced at military bases and installations (995 NMAP1 mines around Air Force and Navy bases and 8,414 antipersonnel mines around Army bases).[95] According to the Mine Observatory, minefields planted around permanent bases and tactical units are in poor condition, due mainly to climatic conditions.[96]

In January 2004, the Army told Landmine Monitor that 40 to 50 hectares of land owned by the Mineral Exploitation Company in Santander department has been mined with 350 mines to protect infrastructure.[97]

Use by FARC

In late 2003 and early 2004, FARC carried out a strategic retreat that included the use of mines.[98] The major Western and Caribbean FARC blocs (bloques) acknowledged using mines, and reported casualties of national Army soldiers in their minefields as a positive outcome.[99] Most information obtained by Landmine Monitor on mine incidents from media reports corresponds with information issued by the FARC on its webpage.[100] Landmine Monitor has recorded mine use by FARC every year since it started reporting in 1999.

There were numerous media reports of mine use by FARC in 2003, in locations including San Vicente del Caguán in Caquetá department, Aguas Calientes village, Libano village, Solita village, Borugo village, and Milán. The mine incidents continued in 2004; for instance, on 18 January, two soldiers of the 12th Army Brigade were injured by antipersonnel mines allegedly laid by the 15th Front of the FARC in La Montañita village.

In February 2004, an Administrative Security Department (DAS) official in Caquetá department provided Landmine Monitor with information on Army clearance of FARC-laid minefields in 2003.[101] These included minefields cleared in Paujil, Aguas Calientes village, Morelia, and Milán in May; in San José del Fragua in August, and in Doncello in September.

The Fourth Division of the Army in Villavicencio, Meta department told Landmine Monitor about Army marking of minefields laid by the FARC in 2003.[102] The division demarcated 29 minefields installed by the FARC: one in Guaviare, one in Vaupes, and 27 in five municipalities of Meta department (one in Puerto Lleras, one in Mapiripan, four in Vistahermosa, nine in Mesetas, and 12 in Uribe).[103]

A spokesperson for El Dorado municipality, in Meta department told Landmine Monitor that FARC-laid minefields in the municipalities of Alto de Cumaral, Caño Amarillo and San Pedro had caused the displacement of 33 families in January 2004.[104] The information was verified in an interview with an inhabitant of El Dorado, who reported that on the night of 3 January, armed men identifying themselves as FARC broke into his house and ordered him to leave the house within 24 hours and inform his neighbors to do the same, as the area would be mined.[105] The case was also reported by local media.[106]

In one recorded case, the FARC’s 40th Front warned a young girl about seven mines emplaced 30 meters away from the main path used by Army troops in Los Naranjos, Mesetas municipality, in Meta department. The girl’s brother was maimed by a mine while working in the area.[107]

In February 2004, media reported that the Fourth Brigade deactivated a minefield laid by the 47th Front of the FARC in La Quiebra, between Sonsón and Argelia, in Antioquia department.[108]

Use by ELN

ELN mine use continued in Colombia in 2003 and 2004, especially in the south of Bolívar department. Some of the minefields in the zone have been marked by ELN with warning signs.[109] In the municipality of Micoahumado, Bolívar department, ELN warned the civilian population about its minefields, including one laid on the main road to La Caoba village and others laid on roads near La Guasima village.[110] Apparently the ELN re-mined a football field in La Coba village after the Army had demined it and left the zone.[111]

Mine use by ELN forces has caused displacement of civilians, as is the case in Perijá, Codazzi municipality in the department of Cesar, where 57 families were forced to abandon their farms after the ELN mined them during fighting with paramilitary groups.[112]

In March 2004, media reported that the Army’s Fourth Alta Montaña (Mountain) Batallion had located and cleared minefields laid by ELN in Vereda San Andrés, San Sebastían municipality, in the south of Cauca department.[113] In April 2004, the Vice President’s Office reported on Army demining of a minefield laid around an ELN camp.[114]

The ELN considers mines as “an instrument of protection, a popular weapon that is easily made, and is valuable in confronting the technological development of the enemy.”[115] Mines for the ELN are a weapon for popular defense that are efficient against numerous troops, providing “protection to small units” and preventing “attacks by expeditionary troops.” Political denunciations of mine use do not alter the need for protection, according to the ELN.[116] The ELN nevertheless has expressed an interest in reaching agreements in order to inform the civilian population about the presence of minefields and create maps of the mined areas.[117]

Use by EPL

In previous years, the EPL has used homemade antipersonnel mines in the south of Córdoba department, and in Norte de Santander, Santander, and Guajira departments, claiming that the mines were removed once military operations ended as they did not have any territory to protect. EPL guerrillas were reportedly not using antipersonnel mines in 2004.[118]

Use by Paramilitary Forces

Paramilitary groups, including the umbrella paramilitary organization United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), operate throughout most of the country. In January 2003, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory cautioned that while there were no recent official reports of mine use by paramilitary groups this did not mean that paramilitaries were using mines less frequently, as it remained difficult to establish who is responsible for mine use.[119] For example, just over one-third (37 percent) of incidents recorded in Arauca department between 1990 and 2002 were caused by “unknown” users, but in 2001-2002 this percentage increased to 60 percent and coincided with incursions by paramilitary forces in the department.[120]

The Antipersonnel Mine Observatory recorded 19 mine events during 2003 and four between January and 22 April 2004 attributed to paramilitary groups.[121] No details of those events were made available.

In August 2001, a humanitarian group delivering supplies in the south of Bolívar Department reported that, according to local community representatives, “During counterinsurgency operations the paramilitary groups have forced peasants to enter minefields with mules in order to clear them, and have also used local people as human shields when entering dangerous terrain.”[122]

As of September 2004, paramilitary groups including the AUC were in peace negotiations with the government and some groups were demobilizing, but no mines had been included in weapons handed in by demobilizing paramilitary forces. This may be due to the fact that the paramilitary group that handed in its weapons in November 2003, the Bloque Cacique Nutibara of the AUC, was operating mainly in urban areas of Medellín.[123]

Landmine Problem

In January 2004, the Observatory reported that of the country’s 32 departments, only two--Amazonas and Guainía--were not mine-affected, (not including the department of San Andrés y Providencia),[124] and 508 (46 percent) of the country’s 1,110 municipalities were reported to be mine-affected.[125] By 1 September 2004, however, an incident had been reported in Puerto Arica municipality in Amazonas department leaving Guainía and San Andrés y Providencia as the last two departments untouched by Colombia’s ever-expanding landmine crisis.[126]

Between 1990 and 1 September 2004, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory registered a total of 5,274 mine-related events, of which 70 percent (3,717) were classed as “incidents” and the rest as “accidents.”[127] An accident is an event in which there are human casualties whereas an incident does not involve such casualties. The landmine problem in Colombia is overwhelmingly rural, as 95 percent of the events recorded by the Observatory occurred in rural areas.

The departments in which the most mine-related events have been reported from 1990 to September 2004 are as follows:[128]

  • Antioquia accounts for 21 percent of all events registered across the country and municipalities with the most mine-related events registered include: Apartadó (24 events), Argelia (31), Cocorná (68), El Bagre (37), Granada (53), Ituango (30), Medellín (48), Remedios (49), San Carlos (44), San Francisco (91), San Luis (69); Segovia (62), Turbo (31), Urrao (28), and Zaragoza (23 events);
  • Santander accounts for 11 percent of the country’s events and affected municipalities include: Barrancabermeja (99 events), El Carmen (40), El Playón (23), Matanza (31), Rionegro (21), and San Vicente Chucurí (91 events);
  • Caquetá accounts for 7 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Cartagena del Chairá (18 events), El Paujil (18), Florencia (75), Milán (21), Montañita (85), and San Vicente del Caguán (86 events);
  • Cundicamarca also accounts for 7 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Cabrera (28 events), La Palma (48), Pulí (22), and Topapí (20 events);
  • Meta accounts for 6 percent of the country’s events and its affected municipalities include: El Castillo (21 events), La Macarena (22), Lejanías (25), Mesetas (53), Puerto Lleras (26), Puerto Rico (22), San Juan de Arama (18), Uribe (33), and Vistahermosa (34);
  • Bolívar accounts for 6 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Achí (23 events), El Carmen de Bolívar (63), Morales (50), San Pablo (42), and Santa Rosa (23 events);
  • Norte de Santander also accounts for 6 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Abrego (18 events), Convención (23), El Tarra (33), Hacarí (17), Sardinata (17), Teorama (23), and Tibú (50);
  • Arauca accounts for 5 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Arauca (44 events), Arauquita (71), Saravena (58), and Tame (88);
  • Cauca accounts for 4 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Cajibío (14 events), El Tambo (14), San Sebastián (18), Santa Rosa (27), Toribío (19);
  • Cesar accounts for 3 percent of the country’s events. Its affected municipalities include: Aguachica (18 events), Curumaní (22), Pailitas (15), and Vallepudar (28).

The number of mine-affected municipalities has steadily risen since Landmine Monitor started reporting. In 1999, Landmine Monitor reported at least 125 mine-affected municipalities in 21 departments. In 2000, there were at least 135 mine-affected municipalities in 26 departments. In 2001, at least 168 municipalities in 27 departments were mine-affected. In 2002, the number of mine-affected municipalities rose sharply to 256 in 28 departments. In 2003, there were an estimated 422 mine-affected municipalities in 30 departments.

There could be several reasons for the rising number of affected municipalities, including increased use of mines by guerrilla groups, increased population movement, and improvements, refinements, and expansion of reporting mechanisms. According to the United Nations, a Landmine Impact Survey is essential to understand the scope of the mine problem in Colombia.[129] Due to the on-going conflict, there are no plans under consideration to conduct such a survey.

Mine Action Coordination and Planning

The National Interministerial Commission on Antipersonnel Mine Action (Comisión Nacional Intersectorial para la Acción contra las Minas Antipersonal, CINAMA) was established on 8 October 2001 by Decree 2113 and confirmed by Article 5 of Law 759 on 25 July 2002. Colombia’s Vice President, Francisco Santos Calderón, heads CINAMA, which is responsible for implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, including the development of a national plan, policy decisions and coordination of international cooperation. The commission has two technical committees, one on victim assistance and another on prevention, marking, mapping and mine clearance.[130]

The Program for the Prevention of Antipersonnel Mine Accidents and Victim Assistance (Programa de Prevención de Accidentes y Atención a las Víctimas por Minas Antipersonal, PAAV), established in January 2001, is the main program of CINAMA.[131] The Antipersonnel Mine Observatory (Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal), established by Article 13 of Law 759 of July 2002, is the central component of PAAV. The Observatory functions as Technical Secretariat of CINAMA and is described as Colombia’s technical entity responsible for collecting, categorizing, centralizing, and updating all information on the mine issue.[132]

Information collected by the Observatory is used to facilitate mine action decision-making, as well as the general and technical direction, coordination, implementation and monitoring of the national plan for mine action.[133] Between June 2001 and February 2003, GICHD personnel installed the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) at the Observatory and conducted training on its use.[134] In 2002 and 2003, the Observatory produced a number of publications on mine risk education,[135] victim assistance,[136] and the mine problem in various departments of the country.[137]

Under the government’s National Development Plan 2002-2006, “Towards a Community State” (Estado Comunitario) of 23 April 2003, compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty is considered a priority, as is the strengthening of the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, mine risk education, victim assistance, and stockpile destruction.[138] Under Decree 3787 of December 2003, the government approved approximately $863,000 (COP 2,500,000,000) for the PAAV for fiscal year 2004.[139] The funds are to be used to redesign and strengthen the Mine Observatory and for regional development of the national mine action plan in Colombia, and should allow the Observatory to function independently of international contributions.[140] The Observatory held a series of meetings in 2004, with CINAMA’s victim assistance committee in February, with the prevention, marking, mapping and mine clearance committee on 2 April, as well as with departmental government authorities (13 April), NGOs (14 April); and international organizations and donors (19 April).[141] A number of agreements were reached between the various actors as a result of these meetings, regarding national policy guidelines, priorities, objectives, activities, and timelines for the next ten years.

In March 2004, UNICEF Colombia hosted two meetings of mine action organizations operating in Colombia to discuss their activities and how to better coordinate.[142]

On 5 March 2003, the government reached an agreement with the OAS on cooperation and technical assistance in mine action.[143] The OAS established an office in Bogotá in November 2003.[144] In 2003 and 2004, OAS AICMA Colombia was tasked with establishing the country office, supporting emergency preventative education and victim assistance campaigns, and strengthening national capacity for humanitarian demining in emergency situations in order to protect civilian populations.[145]

On 3-4 April 2003, a UN delegation visited Colombia to review the country’s landmine crisis and assess mine action needs.[146]

Mine Clearance

Under Article 4 of Law 759 of 2002, the Ministry of Defense is permitted to maintain mines laid before 1 March 2001 for protection of military bases, as well as energy and communication infrastructure, as long as the areas are appropriately marked to guarantee the safety of the civilian population.[147] Under the Mine Ban Treaty, Colombia is obligated to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 March 2011. According to the Mine Observatory, there is a plan to clear mines planted by the Armed Forces within the treaty timeframe.[148]

There is still no systematic humanitarian mine clearance underway in Colombia. In March 2003, Vice President Calderón said it was not “possible to conduct mine clearance as long as the country was at war.” But, he also described an urgent need for humanitarian mine clearance of infrastructure including schools, aqueducts and public places.[149] A March 2002 report by the National Planning Department concluded that the best option for mine clearance in Colombia over the short and medium term was to create 29 thirty-member mine clearance teams from the military to operate over the next 20 years at a total estimated cost of $21.9 million.[150]

Of the 5,274 mine-related events recorded by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory between 1990 and 1 September 2004, the biggest category—1,943 or 37 percent—consisted of military demining, while 205 events (4 percent) involved suspected mined areas.[151]

The Army has carried out limited mine clearance for tactical reasons and during combat.[152] Military clearance is carried out when bases and camps are established, as was the case in Micoahumado where the entire village periphery was cleared of mines.[153] In August 2003, the OAS noted that this military clearance was not carried out according to international standards for humanitarian mine clearance.[154]

According to the Observatory, there were 22 humanitarian emergencies reported to the armed forces in 2003 and another four emergencies reported in the first quarter of 2004.[155] In 18 of these cases, the Army responded and cleared 14 minefields in Catatumbo in the department of Norte de Santander;[156] one in Caño Rallado in Meta department; one in Puerto Guzmán, Putumayo; and one in Arbelaez, Cundinamarca.[157]

Some information on military mine clearance in Colombia is available, but much is contradictory and lacking in detail. According to the Army, it cleared 705 minefields in 2003, with June being the most active month (93 minefields cleared) and January and December the least active (16 and 17 minefields cleared respectively).[158] In May 2004, Colombia reported that the National Police had detected and destroyed 58 mines, but no further details were provided.[159] In August 2003, the OAS reported the Army destroyed 1,226 NSA-laid mine sites in 2002 and 2003.[160] In April 2003, Colombia reported that the Army’s “Mars Group” (Grupo Martes) had cleared 1,054 minefields in the past two years (including 877 mines in 25 departments in 2002) and had trained 877 deminers at the Military Engineers School in 2002, and another 177 in the first quarter of 2003.[161] According to media, in the first nine months of 2002, a total of 450 mine detecting dogs from the Army’s Canine Training School in Bucaramanga discovered 480 minefields, resulting in the destruction of approximately 5,000 mines.[162] In May 2002, Colombia reported that during 2001 the Armed Forces had cleared 1,053 mines from 103 minefields.[163] According to the March 2002 Article 7 report, in 1999 the Army cleared 51 minefields and “deactivated” another 370 minefields.[164]

According to CCCM, armed non-state actors have conducted short-term mine clearance in some departments following pressure from local communities.[165] In January 2003, media reported that NSAs agreed to clear several minefields in Morales municipality in south Bolívar so that the local population could return to their homes.[166]

Mine Risk Education

Mine risk education (MRE) activities continue to be carried out in Colombia by a number of actors, including the government, international organizations, and national and local NGOs.[167] In August 2003, the OAS reported that international organizations and national NGOs in Colombia were working independently from each other, resulting in duplication of efforts and the delivery of contradictory MRE messages.[168] In 2003, about 12,500 people attended MRE sessions supported by UNICEF, an increase compared to the approximately 9,000 people reported for 2002 and the 6,000 reported for 2001.[169] The number of people that attended MRE sessions in 1999 and 2000 is unknown.

In 2003 and 2004, UNICEF has focused its mine risk education efforts on two departments, supporting implementing NGOs Paz y Democracia (Peace and Democracy) in the department of Antioquia, and Fundemos in Cauca department. According to UNICEF, all mine-related events reported by the community are passed on to the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory.[170] UNICEF only carries out these activities where UNICEF will work in the future. An evaluation of UNICEF’s MRE program is planned for 2005.[171]

In Antioquia, Paz y Democracia conducted out two mine risk education projects in 2003, one in seven municipalities (El Bagre, Remedios, San Carlos, Segovia, La Unión, Yolombo, and Zaragoza) and another in six municipalities (Campamento, Carmen de Viboral, Cocorná, San Luis, San Rafael, and Vigía del Fuerte). In 2004, Paz y Democracia continued to implement MRE in four of these municipalities (El Bagre, Cocorná, Remedios and San Carlos) and it started MRE in six more municipalities (Anorí, Argelia, Granada, Mutata, Urrao and Yarumal).[172]

In 2003, the NGO Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco began a youth-focused MRE project in the departments of Bolívar (Santa Rosa del Sur municipality), Cundicamarca (Soacha), and Santander (Barrancabermeja).[173]

In 2003, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Observatory, supported three mine risk education and victim assistance projects in fourteen departments, directly benefiting 1,329 people and indirectly benefiting another 10,100.[174] USAID provided $110,355 for the projects and implementing partners included CCCM, CIREC, and the Hogar Jesús de Nazareth NGO in Bucaramanga, Santander department.[175] In 2003, CCCM was responsible for the MRE activities in the departments of Caquetá, Cesar, Magdalena, and Santander, and also provided MRE to employees of Médecins Sans Frontières Netherlands.[176]

In 2003, CIREC provided mine risk education tools to 52 community leaders through its Seeds of Hope program, including six landmine survivors.[177] In Cauca, the Archdiocese of Popayán carried out MRE for members of the clergy, educators, and through mass media, directly benefiting some 80 people.[178] The Secretariat (Secretaría) of the government of Cauca department coordinated the Cauca Mine Ban Technical Committee in 2003, including local institutions active on the mine issue, as well as MRE. This program did not receive any funding for 2004.[179]

In 2003, the Colombian Red Cross carried out a baseline study on the landmine problem in 20 communities of Antioquia, Cauca, and Valle del Cauca departments that revealed the communities visited were not aware of the mine problem. The Colombian Red Cross included MRE in its educational programs carried out in 12 departments, reaching an estimated 8,000 children.[180]

The Scouts of Colombia (Asociación Scouts de Colombia) continued to implement mine risk education in four departments in 2003 (Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Santander and Norte de Santander).[181] In 2003, the Scouts cooperated with the Attorney’s Office (Fiscalía) in Popayán, Cauca department to implement a program entitled, “Because in times of war we can still dream,” that used games and other activities to discuss MRE and to train youth leaders as MRE facilitators.[182]

In 2003, the NGO Corpojurídica provided mine risk education for internally displaced indigenous people of Naya, in Cauca department. Corpojurídica together with the Colombia office of the Latin American Human Rights Association (Asociación Latinoamericana de Derechos Humanos, ALDHU) carried out MRE for the Cofán indigenous peoples in the Amazonian region of Colombia.[183]

Between March and July 2003, the Observatory held ten regional MRE workshops.[184] In 2003, with the cooperation of national NGOs, the Observatory sent a questionnaire to 199 communities in 23 departments to gauge knowledge, attitudes, practices, and beliefs.[185] Detailed results from the Observatory questionnaires are included in the May 2004 Article 7 report.[186]

The government also reported that with the support of the US Army’s Southern Command, it established a series of training programs in MRE and psychological support to mine survivors that it said would be carried out by the Observatory.[187] One such workshop was held in Cartagena on 21-23 February 2004.[188] In May 2004, Colombia reported an agreement was concluded with Switzerland and the GICHD on technical assistance and mine risk education regional workshops.[189]

In 2002, the Observatory together with the association “Por un Hombre Nuevo” organized mine risk education campaigns in a number of municipalities in Bolívar.[190] UNICEF and Paz y Democracia conducted MRE in 14 municipalities of Antioquia and Cauca departments.[191] The ICRC conducted an MRE needs assessment mission in cooperation with the Colombian Red Cross.[192] Between July 2001 and January 2002, the Observatory, UNICEF and the NGO REDEPAZ carried out an MRE and victim assistance pilot project in 16 municipalities in Antioquia, Bolívar, and Santander departments, in cooperation with a number of other NGOs and organizations.[193] The initiative was supported by the Observatory, Canada and the US (through UNICEF). In August 2002, the Army’s “El Contacto” national television program provided some mine risk education.[194]

Previously, in October 1999, the government, UNICEF and the Canadian Embassy in Bogotá signed an agreement to implement mine risk education in Colombia. Videos, posters and a document on implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty were produced.[195]

Mine Action Funding

Unlike other heavily mine-contaminated countries, international donors have contributed little specifically and directly to mine action in Colombia. One example of a direct, albeit in kind contribution, is that Spain provided demining training to Colombian Army deminers in 2003. The majority of governments have provided indirect support through international organizations. For example, in 2003, Switzerland provided funding to the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) for supervision of mine risk education in Colombia, and together with the EU, Switzerland has supported activities by the Geneva Call to engage Colombian non-state actors. . Colombia’s April 2003 Article 7 report estimated that $13.8 million (38.35 billion pesos) was needed for mine action activities between 2003 and 2006, including $2.4 million (6.7 billion pesos) for 2003.[196] In May 2003, the government reported a national allocation of $4.9 million (13.78 billion pesos) for landmine activities in the period 2003-2006.[197]

In 2003, the Colombian government reported spending approximately $882,000 (2.47 billion pesos) on landmines activities, as well another $12,000 provided through the Peace Investment Fund of Plan Colombia.[198] In 2003, Switzerland provided $50,000 to the Observatory to support technical cooperation and assistance by the GICHD.[199]

In December 2003, the Colombian government approved approximately $863,000 (COP 2,500,000,000) to the PAAV for fiscal year 2004 for the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory.[200] In 2004, the Observatory received $116,267 from the IOM through a cooperation agreement with the Office of the President (Presidencia), and $50,000 from the UN Development Programme for mine action in Meta and Antioquia departments and in the the Montes de María region.[201] In 2004, Switzerland provided $123,200 to the Observatory for mine risk education activities implemented with the assistance from the GICHD.[202]

In June 2004, a report by the Resource Mobilization Contact Group of States Parties, indicated that the Colombian government spent a total of $8.5 million ($8,478,346) on mine action between 1999-2002, including $3.3 million ($3,277,208) in 2002, $4.8 million ($4,852,528) in 2001, $86,803 in 2000, and $261,807 in 1999.[203]

According to the April 2003 Article 7 report, the OAS was supposed to provide $496,906 for mine action in Colombia under the two-year agreement reached with the government in March 2003.[204] In February 2004, the OAS AICMA Colombia reported that Canada had provided $115,000 of the budgeted funds for the period April 2003-April 2004.[205] In May 2003, the OAS presented a projection of financial requirements for its activities in Colombia, estimating that a total of $3.3 million would be needed between 2003-2007: $200,000 in 2003, $300,000 in 2004, $800,000 in 2005, $1 million in 2006, and $1 million in 2007.[206]

According to UNICEF, it budgeted $428,063 for its mine activities in Colombia (mine risk education, victim assistance and advocacy) for the period January 2003-December 2004.[207] According to the Colombian Red Cross, its mine action budget for 2004 was $25,000.[208] Between 2003-2004, CCCM budgeted $124,994 for its activities and received $98,448 from USAID and IOM and the rest from its own funds.[209] CIREC´s annual budget for 2004 was $140,000, with funds provided by the IOM and CIREC.[210] The 2004 budget for the MRE project of the Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco was $120,000 and funding was provided by the UK Charity “Children of the Andes,” the Diana, Princess of Wales Fund and its own resources.[211]

Landmine Casualties

In 2003, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory registered 668 new landmine/UXO casualties (156 people killed and 512 injured); 195 were civilians, including at least 19 women and 49 children.[212] The number of reported new casualties has increased significantly since 1999. Between 1999 and 2002, the Observatory registered 1,085 new mine casualties (233 killed, 848 injured and four unknown): 626 in 2002 (132 killed, 490 injured and four unknown); 268 in 2001 (47 killed and 221 injured); 141 in 2000 (31 killed and 110 injured); 50 in 1999 (23 killed and 27 injured). Of the total casualties, 520 were civilians, including at least 41 women and 177 children.

Casualties continue to be reported in 2004. By 1 September 2004, the Observatory had registered 421 new mine casualties (109 people killed and 312 injured) since January; 127 were civilians, including at least seven women and 31 children. The Observatory’s registry of mine casualties in Colombia uses IMSMA and information is obtained from departmental and municipal authorities, regional ombudsmen, Administrative Security Department bulletins, civilians, and from six Colombian newspapers.[213] Data collection is an on-going process with statistics continually updated as new casualties, and those from previous periods, are identified.[214] In 2002/2003 the OAS AICMA program in Colombia supported the Observatory in recording and monitoring information on casualties and survivors.[215]

Significant under-reporting of casualties is assumed. Civilians injured by landmines in rural areas are often a significant distance from available healthcare services, and if they do reach those services their injuries may not be recorded as mine-related. Civilians may purposely not report their injury as mine-related for fear of being labeled as a combatant by one or other party to the conflict. There is also under-reporting of casualties among armed NSAs in Colombia. The Observatory has reports of only 16 NSA mine casualties since 1999, and a total of 33 since 1990.

From 1990 to 1 September 2004, the Observatory recorded a total of 3,022 mine/UXO casualties (732 people killed, 2,295 injured, and four unknown) from 1,557 accidents;[216] 1,114 were civilians, including at least 115 women and 368 children.[217] The most common activities at the time of the accident were military activities 1,852 casualties (61 percent); passing near the place 283 casualties (nine percent); farming 113 casualties (four percent); playing 49 casualties (two percent); other 66 casualties (two percent); tampering 15 casualties (one percent); gathering water, firewood or food 13 casualties (one percent); and unknown 598 casualties (20 percent).[218]

The ten Colombian departments with the most reported casualties are: Antioquia with 678 casualties (22 percent); Bolívar 323 casualties (eleven percent); Santander 256 casualties (eight percent); Caquetá 236 casualties (eight percent); Norte de Santander 172 casualties (six percent); Meta 164 casualties (five percent); Cauca 163 casualties (five percent); Cundinamarca 140 casualties (five percent); Arauca 109 casualties (four percent); and Cesar 104 casualties (three percent).[219]

Survivor Assistance

In Colombia, emergency care at the scene of a mine incident is reportedly deficient, medical treatment and surgery in regional hospitals is slow, and transport to medical facilities is inadequate. In rural areas, it is difficult to get immediate medical help, and it can sometimes take hours or even days to reach the nearest hospital. Medical and rehabilitation services for mine survivors in Colombia are for the most part located in the main urban centers, whereas most survivors live in rural areas. Some survivors claim that they had not received any rehabilitation treatment six months after the incident and some a year afterwards.[220] Rural survivors reportedly lack the resources necessary for transportation, lodging, and meals.[221] Roadblocks, stoppages of public transport, and prohibitions imposed by combatants sometimes prevent survivors from reaching medical care. Landmine Monitor interviews with mine survivors revealed that on average it had taken 12 hours to reach a regional hospital, some survivors had been sent home without prostheses or rehabilitation after amputation surgery, others had paid for treatment that they were entitled to free under the law and had not received any benefits or assistance since the incident.[222]

Authorities acknowledged that medical care is made difficult by the distance between the place of the incident and the healthcare centers, by a lack of knowledge of first aid, and by limitations in social and economic rehabilitation. Most resources for survivor assistance are directed at emergency medical care and physical rehabilitation, while activities focused on psychosocial support and economic reintegration is limited.[223]

In response to the lack of adequate survivor assistance, the government launched the Program for Mine Accident Prevention and Victim Assistance in 2001. The victim assistance component of the program includes medical care and rehabilitation, educational reintegration, vocational reintegration, and accessibility to the physical environment.[224]

In May 2003, Colombia reported that the average cost for transportation of a mine survivor was $2,668, for therapy $517, and for a prosthesis $25,000.[225]

Military personnel have access to programs for physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support.[226] The Amputees Center of the Central Military Hospital (Hospital Militar Central) in Bogotá, reports that in 2003, 69 amputees with war-wounds were registered,[227] including mine survivors.

There are five main centers providing physical rehabilitation and prostheses for landmine survivors and other persons with disabilities in Colombia: the Hospital Militar de Colombia in Bogotá; the San Juan Bautista Orthopedic Center in Bucaramanga, Santander; the Antioquia Rehabilitation Committee in Medellín; the REI Foundation in Cartagena, Bolívar; and CIREC (Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia) in Bogotá. Another small facility is located in Santa Marta, Magdalena department, where French amputee Jean-Charles Dérien established the ‘El derecho a caminar’ (The right to walk) Foundation. The foundation has produced 43 prostheses, which are free for children, and Dérien is working to create a rehabilitation center for war amputees.[228]

CIREC (Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia) provides integrated rehabilitation services to amputees and other persons with disabilities, producing an average of 500 lower limb prostheses and 3,000 orthoses annually as well as medical services, physical and occupational therapy, psychosocial support, educational opportunities, and direct financial assistance if necessary. Rural inhabitants with limited economic resources constitute ninety percent of the mine survivors and other war-disabled cared for by CIREC and sixty percent are men aged between 20 and 40 years who are heads of family. Nearly half (45 percent) of CIREC employees are people with a disability.[229] The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), through Star of Hope International, has supported CIREC since 1985.[230] Other donors in 2003 include the IOM.

On 8-11 May 2003, at CIREC’s Second National Gathering for Victim Assistance, a total of 220 persons, including 60 mine survivors, participated in workshops on leadership, community-based rehabilitation, technologies, rights of the disabled, arts, and other topics.[231] In September 2003, CIREC assisted seven mine survivors associated with CCCM who came from areas in Bolívar department where there are no government assistance programs. In January 2004, CIREC assisted another 16 landmine survivors brought to Bogotá by the CCCM with the support of the IOM, a supermarket chain (Mercadefam S.A.) and the Medellín NGO Paz y Democracia. The government was asked to assume the costs of this assistance effort, in accordance with Law 418 of 1997. CIREC’s “Semillas de Esperanza” (Seeds of Hope) community leadership program aims to empower persons with disabilities, including mine survivors.[232] In late January 2004, the program’s regional teams and coordinators, including indigenous teams, presented and discussed their projects in a national meeting held at CIREC in Bogotá. Landmine survivors participating in the program made presentations at regional mine action seminars held in Perú (August 2003) and Ecuador (August 2004).

The Rehabilitación Integral (REI) Foundation orthopedic workshop in Cartagena, Bolívar is supported by Handicap International (HI). REI focuses on disability prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of persons with disabilities. A community-based rehabilitation project was started in 2000. In 2003, HI provided training to teachers and community-workers in Cartagena to facilitate access to health services for persons with disabilities. The HI program also provides prostheses, psychosocial support and home-care, and is supported by the embassies of Canada and Switzerland, and by the Belgian International Cooperation Agency.[233]

In April 2002, the Italian NGO Movimondo began a two-year community-based rehabilitation project in two neighborhoods of Cartagena and in Carmen de Bolívar and Magangué municipalities in Bolívar department, for people injured in the armed conflict. In 2003, Movimondo had two projects, one a primary healthcare and integrated rehabilitation project for victims of violence, benefiting 252 families in Tumaco, Nariño Department, and Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca department. The second project focused on rehabilitation in three municipalities of Bolívar department to strengthen the capacity of local institutions to better respond to the needs of persons with disabilities.[234]

The ICRC facilitates access to specialized medical care for civilian war-wounded and provides information on rights and available assistance. When no assistance is available, the ICRC assists with referrals to rehabilitation, transportation, lodgings and meals. The ICRC does not have rehabilitation facilities of its own but has agreements with CIREC and the San Felipe Nieri Home. In 2003, the ICRC facilitated the treatment of 48 war-wounded people, referred 368 to the national healthcare service, and supported the physical rehabilitation of another 18 war-wounded. In 2002, the ICRC operated four mobile health units and facilitated access to specialized medical care for 304 civilian war-wounded.[235] It is not known if any were landmine survivors. In Santander, the ICRC supported 23 war-wounded in 2002 and eight in 2003.[236]

A directory of rehabilitation services in Colombia (Directorio de Servicios de Rehabilitación, Colombia 2003) was published in May 2003, as a joint initiative between CIREC, Landmine Survivors Network (LSN), and Canada. The directory covered fifteen departments and 66 municipalities that are seriously mine-affected. CIREC also released “Antipersonnel Mines: a puzzle waiting to be put together – a survey on rehabilitation for survivors in Colombia” (Las Minas Antipersonal: un rompe-cabezas por armar – Diagnóstico de la rehabilitación de los sobrevivientes en Colombia). The study, supported by Canada, Norway, and LSN, was carried out to better understand the needs of mine/UXO survivors.[237]

Other initiatives to support mine/UXO survivors include development plans in Bolívar department with a victim assistance component, and a victim assistance committee in Sucre department.[238] In Antioquia, a committee provides rehabilitation and prostheses to mine survivors referred by CCCM and Medellín hospitals, charging their services to the FOSYGA (Social Solidarity and Guarantee Fund) state fund.[239] In some cases departmental governments have provided resources to facilitate survivor reintegration. In Magdalena the departmental government provided $1,200 to support the reintegration of two mine survivors.[240]

In Antioquia and Cauca, NGOs Paz y Democracia and Fundemos provide legal and education assistance to survivors with the support of UNICEF.[241] The Hogar Jesús de Nazareth (Jesus of Nazareth Home) has supported the rehabilitation of 20 landmine/UXO survivors, in cooperation with the Fundación Mujeres en Pie (Women Standing Up Foundation) and Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM). IOM also provides health professionals to assist the survivors.[242] In Santander, the Juan Diego Restrepo orthopedic workshop provides prostheses to the Armed Forces, and the Everardo Rojas orthopedic workshop provides prostheses and orthoses to the Hogar Jesús de Nazareth.[243] The University Hospital Ramón Gonzaléz Valencia in Bucaramanga, Santander, assisted 12 mine casualties in 2003, from Bolívar, Arauca, Norte de Santander, Cesar, and Santander departments.[244] The association Confepaz (With Faith, Peace) supports 400 ex-soldiers and demobilized guerrillas; many are disabled. The association provides employment advice, legal aid, and psychosocial support to veterans from both sides.[245] In 2002 the NGO Corpojurídica provided legal assistance to 15 mine survivors.[246] In Bolívar, the association “Por un Hombre Nuevo,” in collaboration with the departmental government and the church, organized workshops and trained teams to provide psychosocial support to survivors in several municipalities.[247]

On 12-14 November 2003, the Vice President’s Office supported by the OAS and the James Madison University (US), held a regional seminar on mine victim assistance in Bogotá. Representatives from Colombia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Perú, the United States, OAS, James Madison University, GICHD, UNDP, CCCM, and CIREC attended.[248]

Two Colombian mine survivors participated in the Raising the Voices program in 2001.[249]

Colombia has submitted the voluntary Form J with all its annual Article 7 reports, with detailed information on mine victim assistance activities.

Disability Policy and Practice

Colombia has legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors.[250] The legislation’s effectiveness is reportedly limited by the low capacity of the health and state sectors to react, the lack of intersectorial coordination, and the lack of institutional leadership.[251]

Civilian casualties of antipersonnel mines and UXO are entitled to receive services, subsidies and assistance according to Law 418 of 1997 which established the obligation of the state to care for victims of political violence. Law 418 was extended and modified by Law 548 of 1999 and extended again by Law 782 of 2002. Compensation in the form of benefits and subsidies are available at different levels. Through the Ministry of the Interior FOSYGA fund (Solidarity and Guarantee Fund) administered by Fisalud, victims of political violence are entitled to transportation subsidies; medical, surgical and hospital assistance; physical rehabilitation and psychological support for one year, but this can be extended for six months; and if not affiliated to a pension fund, compensation for permanent disability or death.

Through the Social Solidarity Network (Red de Solidaridad Social) victims of political violence are entitled to receive assistance for permanent disability; compensation for death; assistance for injury or material loss with no permanent disability; educational assistance for children of the victim; and assistance obtaining credit. Victims are also entitled to housing subsidies through the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development; services of the National Learning Service; services through the Peace Investment Fund; and child victims of political violence are entitled to care by the Colombian Institute of Family Well-being (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar).

Colombia reported that according to the Observatory database, as of 28 February 2004, the Social Solidarity Network had provided benefits for 79 antipersonnel mine survivors and Fisalud for 155 survivors.

Many mine survivors are not aware of the services and benefits that are available to them. In 2003, Paz y Democracia published a guide on procedures to access the healthcare system and humanitarian assistance for antipersonnel mine and UXO survivors, containing the relevant laws.[252] The guide is intended to complement the “Guide for victim assistance” produced by the Observatory, which included the rights and procedures available through FOSYGA and the Social Solidarity Network.

[1] In 2002, the minimum monthly salary was approximately $110 (309,000 Colombian pesos). Landmine Monitor used the conversion rate of US$1 = 2,800 peso (May 2003). See CIREC, “Las Minas Antipersonal, un rompe-cabezas para armar. Diagnóstico de la Rehabilitación de los sobrevivientes en Colombia,” Bogotá, April 2003, p. 37.
[2] The Law also provides for National Humanitarian Missions to verify facts and make recommendations (Article 10) and for International Missions to Determine Facts (Article 12).
[3] The OAS and James Madison University (USA) supported the event. See Presidencia de la República, “Expertos Internacionales sobre Minas Antipersonales se reúnen en Bogotá,” 11 November 2003.
[4] Dr. Francisco Santos Calderón, Vicepresidente de la República de Colombia, Apertura del Foro Regional de Víctimas de Minas Antipersonal, Bogotá, 12 November 2003. Participants from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Perú, the US, OAS, the GICHD and UNDP participated.
[5] Email from Jackie Hansen, Program Officer, ICBL, 1 April 2004; Letter to Jackie Hansen, ICBL, from Gabriela Febres Cordero de Moreno, Wife of the Colombian Ambassador to the US, 5 April 2004.
[6] “Vicepresidencia convoca a medios a foro de minas antipersonales,” ANCOL (Bogotá), 15 April 2002; “Palabras del Director del Programa Presidencial en Clausura del Foro,” ANCOL, 17 April 2002.
[7] See Article 7 reports submitted: 27 May 2003 (covering the period 1 March 2002–30 April 2003, and including 21 annexes); 6 August 2002 (for the period 1 September 2001–30 April 2002); and 15 March 2002 (for the period 1 March–31 August 2001). The initial report was due on 28 August 2001.
[8] Oral remarks to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2004. Landmine Monitor/HRW notes.
[9] In September 2000, UNICEF Colombia and CCCM released a 61-page report drawn from Landmine Monitor and additional research, entitled “Sembrando Minas, Cosechando Muerte,” (Sowing Mines, Harvesting Death). CCCM also assisted in the establishment of the National Mine Action Commission, CINAMA.
[10] The departments are Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caldas, Cuaca, Caquetá, Cesar, Chocó, Cundicamarca, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Santander and Santander del Norte. See also CCCM, Civil Society Action Strengthening Project, OIM, Bogotá, October 2003.
[11] Alianza’s membership includes several national NGOs, such as the Permanent Civil Society Assembly for Peace (Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz), the Latin American Association for Human Rights (ALDHU), Fundación Cultura Democrática, and INDEPAZ.
[12] Email from Luis Alfonso Fajardo Sánchez, Alianza, 9 January 2004.
[13] ICBL, “Campaign Deplores Continued Mine Use in Colombia, Press Release, 28 January 2004.
[14] Paramilitary groups operate with the tolerance and often support of units within the Colombian Army. See Human Rights Watch, The “Sixth” Division: Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia, (New York: Human Rights Watch, September 2001).
[15] See for example: Statement by Amb. Julio Enrique Ortiz Cuenca, Colombian Ambassador to Nicaragua, Third Meeting of States Parties, Managua, 19 September 2001; Statement by Amb. Nicolás Rivas, Deputy Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, in the General Debate of the First Committee, Fifty-Eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 15 October 2003.
[16] ELN also proposed a general amnesty for political prisoners and prisoners of war, and a bilateral and temporary cease-fire. Ejército de Liberación Nacional, Comando Central, “Foro Internacional Minas Antipersonales y Acuerdos Humanitarios,” Montañas de Colombia, 4 June 2004.
[17] Presidencia de la República, “Intervención del Vicepresidente en foro internacional minas antipersonal,” Bogotá, 4 June 2004. See also, Geneva Call, “When the fight against mines revives hopes for peace in Colombia,” NSA News, Special on Colombia, June 2004; Geneva Call and Colombian Campaign Against Mines, Media Advisory, Bogotá and Geneva, 8 June 2004.
[18] Emails from Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Coordinator, CCCM, 23 and 24 May 2003; interview with Mehmet Balci, Regional Director for the Middle East and Europe, Geneva Call, 15 May 2003; email from Mehmet Balci, Geneva Call, 1 July 2003.
[19] Geneva Call, “Pilot mine action zone planned for Bolivar region of Colombia,” NSA News, Vol. 2 Number 1, January 2004, p. 5.
[20] CCCM, Comunicado No. 010, “Foros regionales sobre minas antipersonales, actores armadas no estatales y acuerdos humanitarios en Antioquia y Santander,” Bogotá, 20 August 2004.
[21] CCCM, Elizabeth Yarce, “ELN revisa propuesta de paz del Gobierno,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 21 August 2004; “El Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) anuncia un estatuto humanitario,” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 20 August 2004; “Líderes del ELN dicen que quieren buscar acuerdos de paz,” El Universal, 21 August 2004.
[22] “Apoyan paramilitares plan de desminado en zona norte de Colombia,” Notimex (Bogotá), 27 August 2004.
[23] Comisión Humanitaria de Antioquia, Acta de Posesión, Palabras del Señor Gobernador Aníbal Gaviria Correa, Medellín, 3 September 2004.
[24] Glemis Mogollón V., “AUC, a favour de la comisión humanitaria,” El Colombiano, 7 September 2004. CCCM national coordinator, Álvaro Jiménez Millán, is a member of the commission.
[25] Interview with Andrés Goyeneche, Advisor, Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal, Bogotá, 23 April 2004.
[26] Yilberto Lahuerta Percipiano and Ivette María Altamar, Office of Economic Studies, “The eradication of antipersonnel mines in Colombia: Implications and Costs,” Economic Archives Document 178, Office of Justice and Security, National Department of Planning, 1 March 2002, p. 3.
[27] Article 7 Report, Form E, 15 March 2002. See also PAAV, “January Report 2002,” p. 10.
[28] Letter by the General Command of the Armed Forces, 21 January 2000.
[29] Interview with Engineer Sergio Rodríguez, Technical Second Manager, INDUMIL, 5 July 2000 and 24 July 2001.
[30] Letter by the General Command of the Armed Forces, 21 January 2000.
[31] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Anti-Personnel Mines in Colombia,” December 2001, p. 5.
[32] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia de Eventos,” 1990 al 1 de Septiembre 2004.
[33] “Las zonas minadas en Colombia,” El Tiempo, 29 September 1998.
[34] Colombian Navy Registry Form for Stockpiled AP Mines, presentation by the Navy at the “Antipersonnel Landmines: Colombia and the Ottawa Convention,” Seminar, Bogotá, 27 February 2001.
[35] Four M48 Czechoslovakian mines were included in a destruction event on 30 October 2003.
[36] US Army, Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (USAMCCOM), Letter to Human Rights Watch, 25 August 1993, and attached statistical tables; US Defense Security Assistance Agency, Foreign Military Sales of Antipersonnel Mines, FY 1983-1992.
[37] Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003.
[38] “Cuando el río suena,” Cambio magazine (Bogotá), 29 October 2003.
[39] “Desmantelan en Panamá red de traficantes de armas para Colombianos,” Notimex (Panamá), 16 May 2003.
[40] “Policía desmantela depósito de minas antitanque de las FARC,” Agence France-Presse (Bogotá), 2 October 2002.
[41] Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003. The Ministry of Defense is authorized to retain up to 1,000 antipersonnel mines for training and development, according to Law 554, Colombia’s ratification legislation. The report did not provide information on the types of mines retained.
[42] Article 7 Report, Form B, 15 March 2002; Article 7 Report, Form B, 6 August 2002.
[43] A number of landmines not previously reported by Colombia were listed in the report including the M-18, HE, A-1, M-3, M-21, ATM-19, and MAT-2 mines.
[44] Colombian Navy Registry Form for Stockpiled AP Mines, presented by Navy representatives at the seminar “Antipersonnel Landmines: Colombia and the Ottawa Convention,” 27 February 2001. Subsequent corrections to this document were provided to the Landmine Monitor researcher in July 2001. This included 2,194 MN-MAP-1 mines; 1,986 AP-SOPRO mines; and 14 M-14 mines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 309-310.
[45] Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003, pp. 14-35.
[46] Article 7 Report, 11 May 2004, p. 25.
[47] Ibid, p. 27.
[48] “Destrucción de minas almacenadas en Colombia,” Presentation to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 24 June 2004.
[49] Letter No. 24828 MDAI from Minister of National Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe Echavarria to Vice President Francisco Santos Calderón, dated 3 September 2004, sent to Landmine Monitor (MAC) by Emersson José Forigua Rojas, Advisor, Directorate of International Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, 5 October 2004.
[50] Ibid.
[51] Ibid.
[52] Article 7 Report, 11 May 2004, pp. 23-27 and Form B, pp. 54-57.
[53] Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003.
[54] Vice President’s Office and Ministry of Defense joint Press Release, “Colombia Begins Demining Program,” Bogotá, 26 June 2003; “Militares inician destrucción de 23.451 minas antipersonales,” EFE (Bogotá), 27 June 2003.
[55] These mines had been stockpiled by the Air Force (356 mines), the Navy (294 mines) and the rest by the Army. The OAS did not certify the destruction of the 1,152 MAP-2 mines as it considered these practice mines that did not contain explosives. Interview with Andrés Goyeneche, Advisor, Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal, Bogotá, 23 April 2004.
[56] CCCM, Comunicado de Prensa N° 002, Bogotá, 31 May 2004.
[57] CCCM, Comunicado de Prensa N° 008, Bogotá, 16 July 2004.
[58] CCCM, Comunicado de Prensa N° 011, Bogotá, 31 August 2004.
[59] Statements by Col. Paéz, Director, Engineering Directorate, Armed Forces, at a meeting with CINAMA, CCCM and Geneva Call representatives, 22 January 2004.
[60] Letter from Minister of National Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe Echavarria, dated 3 September 2004. The 391 total differs from the information provided to Landmine Monitor in the 22 January 2004 meeting. At that date the Armed Forces reported that a total of 151 mines were destroyed at the Bejarano Muñoz Battalion in Urabá; 154 mines were destroyed at the Cartagena Battalion; and 10 mines were destroyed at the Alta Montaña Battalion in Usme, Cundicamarca. The types of mines and exact dates of these destruction events were not yet available. Statements by Col. Paéz, Armed Forces, at a meeting with CINAMA, CCCM and Geneva Call representatives, 22 January 2004.
[61] Letter from Minister of National Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe Echavarria, dated 3 September 2004.
[62] Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal, “Bolívar,” Regional Bulletin No. 2, January 2003, p. 9; Letter from General Nelson Mejía Henao, General Manager, INDUMIL, to Bernardo Ortiz Bravo, Vice Minister of Defense, No. 16971 G-OJ-016 dated 6 November 2000. The letter mentions Acta 188, 2 July 1999.
[63] Article 7 Report, Form D, 11 May 2004, pp. 65-66.
[64] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia de eventos, 1990 al 1 Septiembre 2004.”
[65] Report provided by Brig. Gen. Germán Galvis Corona, Commander V Brigade of the Army, Bucaramanga, 16 January 2004.
[66] El Colombiano, 18 May 2003.
[67] “Caen 35 paramilitares en Meta y Cundicamarca,” La Libertad (Barranquilla), 18 December 2003.
[68] “Hallan caleta con armas en Caquetá,” El Colombiano, 26 February 2004.
[69] Reports on file with Landmine Monitor.
[70] “Las zonas minadas en Colombia,” El Tiempo, 29 September 1998, p. 13A.
[71] Ministry of National Defense, “Infractions of International Humanitarian Law by the use of Antipersonnel Mines,” May 1997.
[72] See Mine Ban Policy section of this report for a list of the parties in Colombia’s internal armed conflict.
[73] Juanita León, “Una Colombia más segura,” Semana (Bogotá), 22 December 2003, p. 62.
[74] CCCM field visits to mine-affected areas in Santa Rosa del Sur, San Pablo, Bolívar, San Vicente de Chucurí, Santander Department, and Apartadó, Antioquia Department, November 2000 to February 2001.
[75] OEA, AICMA, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 6.
[76] US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights and Practices – 2000: Colombia,” February 2001, p. 42.
[77] OEA, AICMA, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 6.
[78] According to the Observatory, of 638 mine-related incidents reported in 2002, the user responsible for the landmine that caused the incident was not known in approximately half of the incidents (283 or 45 percent). FARC is listed as probably being responsible for 237 incidents (37 percent), followed by ELN for 85 incidents (14 percent), “non identified” for 11 incidents (2 percent), and AUC for seven events (1 percent). Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia anual por autor de eventos por MAP/UXO 1990-2002,” 9 June 2003.
[79] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Situación de Minas Antipersonal al 1 de Septiembre 2004,” available at www.derechoshumanos.gov.co, accessed 4 September 2004.
[80] Media Report of the First Brigade, Navy Infantry, Corozal, 25 February 2004.
[81] Interview by Álvaro Gómez, CCCM Coordinator in Cesar, with the Early Alert Sistem (SAT) Analyst of Córdoba, Angélica Pimienta, Valledupar, 15 February 2004.
[82] Meeting of the UNICEF Colombia mine action country team, Bogotá, 10 March 2004.
[83] Interview with Adriana Córdoba, Program Coordinator, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 21 April 2004.
[84] Defensoría del Pueblo, Resolución Defensorial No. 24, “Situación de los derechos humanos de los pueblos indígenas de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta y de la Serranía del Perijá,” Bogotá, 18 September 2002, p. 14.
[85] Letter No. 150609/CGFM-EMC-JEOPC-DOPEC-441, “Respuesta oficio No. 13327 – Resolución Defensorial No. 24, Minas antipersonal cerrro ALGUACIL o INARWA,” General Carlos Alberto Ospina Ovalle, Commander in Chief, Colombian Armed Forces, to Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe Echavarría, Bogotá, 25 March 2004.
[86] Andrés Peñate Giraldo, Asuntos Políticos y Temática Internacional, Ministry of National Defense, Letter No. 381, to Dr. Carlos Franco Echavarría, Director, Presidential Program on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Bogotá, 20 April 2004. Landmine Monitor has copies of both letters.
[87] United Nations Economic and Social Council, “Report of the UNHCR on the human rights situation in Colombia,” Document E/CN.4/2003/13, 24 February 2003, p. 59, available at www.hchr.org.co .
[88] Letter DM/DPM No. 29088 to Mary Wareham, Landmine Monitor Global Coordinator, from Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolina Barco Isakson, 30 July 2003.
[89] Statement signed by the Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó, Antioquia, 5 January 2001.
[90] Letter from Cesar Augusto Muñoz Lopera, Apartadó’s Ombudsman, to CCCM, No. PMA-140, signed on 14 March 2001.
[91] Penal denunciation No. 01, No. 00021/DIV-BR17-DH-725, directed to José David Ibarra Contreras, State Attorney for the Urabá zone, dated in Carepa, Antioquia, 13 January 2001.
[92] Letter from Minister of Defense Jorge Alberto Uribe Echavarria, dated 3 September 2004.
[93] The Navy reported that it had 998 NM-MAP1 mines emplaced in minefield located at Cartagena Mamonal (167 mines), Cerro La Pita (166), Cerro Mochuela (498), Cerro Tokio in Valle del Cauca (93), and Cerro Mecana in Choco department (74). The Navy had withdrawn its troops from Cerro Tokio and Cerro Mecana. The Air Force had a total of 657 NM-MAP1 antipersonnel mines in minefields located in Cerro Pan de Azúcar (370 mines), Cerro La María (101), Cerro Nuesa (100), and Cerro Manjui (86). See Article 7 Report, Form C, first and second tables, 30 April 2003.
[94] Notes taken by Landmine Monitor (MAC) and statement provided to MAC in writing by Col. Julian Cardona Montoya, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 30 May 2002. A March 2002 US Department of State report estimated that the Colombian military maintained approximately 18,000 mines to defend static positions. US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2001,” Colombia Report, released 4 March 2002.
[95] The Army’s 8,414 mines were: 2,023 APR M14, 1,538 plastic mines, 1,587 Antiexplosiva M1, 865 Explosivas, 690 MAP, 514 M18, 437 M3A1, 311 Sopro, 207 MAP2 Indumil, 87 M16, 74 Indumil ATP, 53 M3, and 28 Explosivas M21. It did not report the location of the bases, but it specified that all the minefields were marked. Article 7 Report, Form C, first Table, 6 August 2002.
[96] Document provided by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory to Landmine Monitor, Bogotá, 14 April 2004.
[97] Interview with Brig. Gen. Germán Galvis Corona, Army Fifth Brigade, 16 January 2004.
[98] “Uno de cada tres soldados muertos este año en Colombia ha sido víctima de las minas antipersonales,” El Tiempo, 6 March 2004.
[99] FARC, “Partes militares y de guerra.” available at www.farcep.org , accessed 30 March 2004.
[100] Ibid.
[101] Interview with Carlos Alberto Riaño, Director, DAS, Florencia, Caquetá, 13 February 2004.
[102] Interview with Col. Fredy Vargas Maldonado, Army Fourth Division, Villavicencio, 16 February 2004.
[103] Ibid.
[104] CCCM interview with Carlos Enrique Melo Valencia, Municipal Spokesperson, El Dorado, Meta, 4 February 2004.
[105] CCCM Interview with source that wishes to remain anonymous, El Dorado, Meta, 4 February 2004.
[106] “Sigue tensión en El Dorado,” El Tiempo (Región Oriente, Villavicencio), 6 February 2004.
[107] “Oía salir la sangre de mi pierna,” Llano 7 días (Villavicencio), 9 February 2004.
[108] “Desactivan Minas en Argelia,” El Tiempo, 21 February 2004.
[109] Landmine Monitor visit to Micohaumado, Bolivar Department, 14 March 2004. Landmine Monitor observed the warning signs.
[110] Information supplied by local inhabitants who prefer to remain anonymous, Landmine Monitor visit to Micoahumado, Bolívar, 14 March 2004.
[111] Ibid.
[112] Information provided by the CCCM Coordinator in Cesar, following a visit to the region and interviews with local inhabitants and the spokesperson of Codazzi municipality, Casacará, Cesar Department, 26 March 2004.
[113] “Desactivan campo minado,” El Liberal (Popayán), 25 March 2004.
[114] Vice President’s Office, Human Rights Observatory, Weekly Press Bulletin, Bogotá, 31 March–6 April 2004.
[115] Information provided to Landmine Monitor (MAC), March 2004.
[116] Ibid.
[117] Ibid.
[118] Ibid.
[119] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Santander,” Regional Bulletin No. 3, January 2003, p. 8.
[120] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Arauca,” Regional Bulletin No. 4, February 2003, pp. 11-12.
[121] Mail sent to the Landmine Monitor by Fernando Guevara, Mines Observatory Advisor, Bogotá, 27 April 2004.
[122] Rodrigo Hurtado, “Caravana por el sur de Bolívar,” El Espectador (Bogotá), 3 August 2001; Maribel Marin, “Un grupo humanitario con 37 españoles, atrapado en una zona de Combates en Colombia,” El País (Madrid), 8 August 2001; “Nos quedamos aquí... vayan y cuéntelo,” Caravana Internacional por la Vida en el Sur de Bolívar, Bogotá, 20 August 2001. In Wereldwijd Mail (E-zine), No. 81, 24 August 2001.
[123] See OAS Press Release C-234/03, “César Gaviria expresa satisfacción por desmovilización en Colombia,” 26 November 2003.
[124] Colombia has 32 departments, and the capital district of Bogotá, DC. The Observatory has continuously and incorrectly listed Bogotá as a department in its database, and omitted the department of San Andrés y Providencia (Caribbean islands). As of January 2004 then, there were three of 32 departments that were not mine-affected.
[125] Report by the Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 26 January 2004.
[126] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory Report, “Frecuencia municipal de eventos por MAP/MASE, 1990 al 1 de Septiembre 2004.”
[127] An event by antipersonnel mines or abandoned explosive artefacts is defined by the Observatory as all acts that occur or have occurred by the suspicion or the existence of antipersonnel mines or abandoned explosive artefacts. Events are classified as accidents or incidents. An incident does not involve human victims. See “ABC Minas Antipersonal, Glosario” IMSMA database, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory.
[128] List prepared by Landmine Monitor on the basis of Antipersonnel Mine Observatory Reports, “Frecuencia departamental” and “Frecuencia municipal de eventos por MAP/MASE,” 1990 al 1 de Septiembre 2004.
[129] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects 2003,” p. 88.
[130] Defensoría del Pueblo, Resolución Defensorial Humanitaria No. 10, “Minas Antipersonal,” 1 March 2002, pp. 14-15; and Programa de Prevención de Accidentes y Atención a las Víctimas por Minas Antipersonal, “January 2002 Report,” p. 8.
[131] Landmine Monitor uses the acronym PAAV for the sake of convenience, though it is not an official acronym. Administered by the Vice President’s Office (Vicepresidencia de la República), PAAV is part of the Presidential Program on Human Rights and Application of International Humanitarian Law (Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y Aplicación del Derecho Internacional Humanitario).
[132] Article 7 Report, Form A, 11 May 2004, p. 31.
[133] Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2003.
[134] Ibid, p. 8.
[135] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Concientización sobre Minas Antipersonal,” Bogotá, March 2003.
[136] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Atención a las Víctimas,” Bogotá, March 2003.
[137] See the series of Regional Bulletins for Antioquia, Bolívar, Santander, Arauca, César, Putumayo, and Norte de Santander, dated from December 2002 to May 2003.
[138] Article 7 Report, Form A, 11 May 2004, p. 40; Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2003.
[139] Conversion from Colombian pesos to US dollars was made by the government. See Article 7 Report, 11 May 2003, p. 40.
[140] Article 7 Report, Form A, 11 May 2004, pp. 40-41; Regulatory Decree 3787, 26 December 2003, to Law 848, 12 November 2003, Official Gazette, Bogotá, 12 November 2003.
[141] Interview with Adriana Córdoba, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 21 April 2004.
[142] Participating organizations included the Mine Observatory, the ICRC and Colombian Red Cross, OAS, UN agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, and UNHCR), OIM, CCCM, CIREC, the Humanitarian Alliance, and other NGOs. Records of the Country Team meetings, UNICEF Colombia, Bogotá, 10-25 March 2004.
[143] Email from Beatriz Elena Gutiérrez Rueda, Coordinator, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 5 March 2003. (Landmine Monitor has a copy of the Agreement.) See also Document “Acuerdo de Cooperación y Asistencia Técnica entre el Gobierno de la República de Colombia y la Secretaría General de la Organización de los Estados Americanos relativo al Plan Nacional de Acción Integral contra las Minas Antipersonal en Colombia,” 5 March 2003; “OEA y el Gobierno se unen para erradicar minas antipersonales,” El Universal, 5 March 2003.
[144] OAS AICMA Update, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, June 2004.
[145] AICMA is the Spanish acronym for the OAS Program for Integrated Mine Action Assistance. OEA, Programa de Asistencia a la Acción Integral Contra las Minas Antipersonal, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 7.
[146] CCCM, “Visita de Misión de Naciones Unidas a Colombia y Antioquia,” April 2003. Document emailed to Landmine Monitor (MAC) by Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Coordinator, CCCM, 24 April 2003.
[147] Article 4 of Law 759, 25 July 2003.
[148] Interview with Adriana Córdoba, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 21 April 2004.
[149] SNE, “Una mina vale US$80 centavos; Quitarla cuesta US$500,” Presidencia de la República-SNE, 5 March 2003.
[150] Office of Economic Studies, “The eradication of antipersonnel mines in Colombia: Implications and Costs,” National Department of Planning, 1 March 2002, p. ii.
[151] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Eventos por Minas Antipersonal (MAP) / Municiones Abandonadas sin Explotar (MASE),” 1990 – 1 September 2004.
[152] Office of Economic Studies, “The eradication of antipersonnel mines in Colombia: Implications and Costs,” National Department of Planning, 1 March 2002, p. 9.
[153] CCCM visit to Micoahumado Village, south of Bolívar Department, September 2003.
[154] OEA, AICMA, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 6.
[155] Interview with Ana Luisa Torres, Humanitarian Emergencies Team Advisor, Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 23 April 2004.
[156] Document No. 7324 CGFM-ING-DH-DIH-725, Major General Jorge Ballesteros, Armed Forces General Inspector, Bogotá, 17 March 2004.
[157] Information given to Landmine Monitor by the Mines Observatory, Bogotá, 23 April 2004.
[158] Report presented by Army Captain Cepeda, Mine Observatory meeting, Bogotá, 26 January 2004.
[159] Article 7 Report, Form D, 11 May 2004, p. 70.
[160] OEA, AICMA, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 6.
[161] Article 7 Report, Form C and Annex 16, 30 April 2003.
[162] “Los perros de la guerra,” Semana (Bogotá), 10 October 2002; “Guerrilla emplea minas antipersonales de plástico que no pueden ser detectadas,” El Tiempo, 3 September 2002; “Denuncian uso de minas explosivas de plástico que no se detectan,” El Espectador (Bogotá), 5 September 2002.
[163] Notes taken by Landmine Monitor (MAC) and statement provided to MAC in writing by Colonel Julian Cardona Montoya, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 30 May 2002.
[164] Article 7 Report, Form E, 15 March 2002.
[165] Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Coordinator, Colombian Campaign Against Landmines, response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, Bogotá, 7 April 2004.
[166] “Guerrilleros y AUC actúan como buenas personas,” Caracol (Cartagena), 31 January 2003; “ELN y AUC quitarán minas de Morales,” El Tiempo, 4 February 2003. One report notes that the FARC, ELN and ERP guerrillas were involved, as well as the paramilitaries. The other reports cites only the ELN and paramilitaries.
[167] Actors involved in MRE since 1999 have included UNICEF, the government’s Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, UNHCR, the Colombian Red Cross, the Governor’s Bureaus (Gobernancias) of Antioquia, Santander, Cauca, and Bolívar, the Health Sector Directorate, Government Secretariat, the Education Secretariat, Mayoralties in selected municipalities, the Scouts of Colombia (Asociación Scouts de Colombia), the Archdiocese of Popayán, INDEPAZ, REDEPAZ, the Assemblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz, Corporación Paz y Democracia, CCCM, FUNDEMOS, the Foundation “Mujeres en Pie,” as well as other groups.
[168] OEA, AICMA, Portafolio 2003-2004, August 2003, p. 9.
[169] Email from Jorge Valles, Project Officer, UNICEF Bogota, 27 September 2004.
[170] Interview with Diana Roa Castro, Assistant Officer, Protection and Mines, UNICEF Colombia, Bogotá, 26 March 2004.
[171] Ibid.
[172] Email sent by Juan Carlos Villegas, CCCM Antioquia, Medellín, 12 April 2004.
[173] Interview with Diana Díaz and Adriana Leal, Coordinator and General Assistant, MRE Project, Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco, Bogotá, 23 March 2004.
[174] Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caldas, Cauca, Caquetá, Cesar, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Huila, Meta, Nariño, Santander, and Norte de Santander.
[175] Response from IOM to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, Bogotá, 6 April 2004.
[176] CCCM, Strengthening Civil Society Actions, First Trimester Report, Bogotá, December 2003.
[177] Interview with Jorge Quesada, Project Coordinator, Semillas de Esperanza (Seeds of Hope), 16 February 2004.
[178] Response to Landmine Monitor from Iván Molano, Director, Social Pastorate, Archdiocese of Popayán, Cauca, 17 February 2004.
[179] Response to Landmine Monitor from Nancy Muñoz, Coordinator, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Popayán, Cauca, 18 February 2004.
[180] Interview with José Raúl García, Director, National Youth Program, Colombian Red Cross, Bogotá, 17 February 2004.
[181] Interview with Harold May, National Executive Director, Colombian Scout Association, Bogotá, 16 February 2004.
[182] Response to Landmine Monitor from Jesús Hernando Paz, Popayán, Cauca, 17 February 2004.
[183] Email to Landmine Monitor (MAC) from Héctor Castro Portillo, Corpojurídica, 13 May 2003.
[184] Article 7 Report, Form I, 11 May 2004, pp. 85-97.
[185] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory Report, Bogotá, 26 January 2004.
[186] Article 7 Report, Form I, 11 May 2004, pp. 85-97.
[187] Ibid, pp. 90-91.
[188] “Misión internacional en la costa del Caribe para hacer frente al peligro de las minas antipersonales,” El Tiempo, 23 February 2004.
[189] Article 7 Report, Form I, 11 May 2004, p. 85.
[190] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Bolívar,” Regional Bulletin No. 2, January 2003, p. 2.
[191] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects 2003,” p. 89.
[192] Email from Laurence Desvignes, ICRC Mine Program Coordinator, 26 July 2002.
[193] Including the Roosevelt Hospital, Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz, INDEPAZ, Scouts, and REDEPAZ. UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects: Colombia,” 2 May 2002.
[194] “Las armas de la guerrilla en televisión,” El Espectador (Bogotá), 14 August 2002.
[195] Interview with Clara Marcela Barona, Communications Officer, UNICEF Colombia, Bogotá, 10 May 2000.
[196] Article 7 Report, Form A, Annex 2, 30 April 2003. Conversion rate of US$1 = 2,800 pesos (May 2003) was used. The budget was broken down into five areas according to the national plan. “Humanitarian demining for humanitarian emergencies” accounted for nearly 80 percent of the total budget, with approximately US$1.6 million (4.47 billion pesos) allocated for 2003 and US$11 million (30.79 billion pesos) for the period from 2003-2006. The next highest expenditure was “the National Action Plan” with US$550,000 (1.54 billion pesos) allocated for 2003 and US$1.6 million (4.58 billion pesos) for 2003-2006. “Prevention of landmine accidents” was budgeted US$200,000 (553 million pesos) for 2003 and US$900,000 (2.57 billion pesos) for 2003-2006. “Mine action information management” was allocated US$33,000 (92.5 million pesos) in 2003 and US$267,000 (748 million pesos) for 2003-2006. Finally, “International cooperation management” was allocated US$16,000 (45 million pesos) for 2003 and US$60,000 (165 million pesos) for 2003-2006.
[197] Article 7 Report, Annex 2, 30 April 2003.
[198] Ibid.
[199] Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2003.
[200] Article 7 Report, Form A, 11 May 2004, pp. 40-41; Regulatory Decree 3787, 26 December 2003, to Law 848, 12 November 2003, Official Gazette, Bogotá, 12 November 2003.
[201] Interview with Mariany Monroy, Information Coordinator, Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 23 April 2004.
[202] Ibid.
[203] Resource Mobilisation Contact Group, “A review of resources to achieve the Convention’s aims,” Table 2, p. 7, presented by Norway at the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, 25 June 2004.
[204] Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2003. The funds would be allocated as follows: US$256,506 for administration and supervision, US$130,000 in prevention education, US$30,000 for training of Colombian personnel, US$30,000 for victim assistance, US$30,000 for logistics, and US$9,400 for other activities.
[205] Interview with Tammy Hall, Coordinator, OAS AICMA Colombia, Bogotá, 18 February 2004. According to the April 2003 Article 7 report, the OAS had contributed US$114,000.
[206] OAS, “Mine Action Program: Making the Western Hemisphere landmine-safe,” Resource Mobilization: Projection of Financial Resources/Requirements 2003-2007, p. 6. Presented at the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, 12 May 2003.
[207] UN Mine Action “Emine” website, see project portfolio for Colombia, at www.mineaction.org .
[208] Interview with José Raúl García, Director, National Youth Program, Colombian Red Cross, Bogotá, 17 February 2004.
[209] CCCM, Strengthening Civil Society Actions Program, Technical Data and summary 057, Bogotá, October 2003.
[210] Interview with Jorge Quesada, Coordinator, “Semillas de Esperanza” (Seeds of Hope) Project, Bogotá, 16 February 2004.
[211] Interview with Diana Diaz and Adriana Leal, Coordinator and General Assistant, MRE Project, Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco, Bogotá, 23 March 2004.
[212] Unless otherwise stated, all information in this section is taken from Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Víctimas según estado de eventos por MAP/MASE”and “Frecuencia víctimas según condición por MAP/MASE,” 1990 – 1 de Septiembre 2004. The Observatory database contains detailed information on casualties from antipersonnel mines and unexploded abandoned munitions (MASE, by its Spanish acronym); however, Landmine Monitor uses the more common acronym UXO for unexploded ordnance.
[213] The newspapers are El Tiempo (Bogotá), El Espectador (Bogotá), El Colombiano (Medellín, Antioquia), El País (Cali, Valle del Cauca), El Heraldo (Barranquilla, Atlántico), and Vanguardia Liberal (Bucaramanga, Santander). See Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Eventos por minas antipersonal (MAP) / municiones abandonadas sin explotar (MASE),” 1990 – 1 de Septiembre 2004.
[214] For example, the Observatory reported in June 2003 that there had been 530 new mine and MASE casualties in 2002. In September 2004, the figure had increased to 626 new casualties in 2002.
[215] “OAS/Mine Assistance Program in Colombia,” ICBL Portfolio of Landmine Victim Assistance Programs, September 2002; Article 7 Report, Form A, 30 April 2003.
[216] Since 1999, the Observatory registered a total of 5,274 mine-related events of which 1,557 were reported as accidents (30 percent) and 3,717 as incidents (70 percent). Of the 1,557 accidents, 1,436 were caused by antipersonnel mines. Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Eventos por minas antipersonal (MAP) / municiones abandonadas sin explotar (MASE),” 1990 – 1 de Septiembre 2004.
[217] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Víctimas según sexo y edad de eventos por MAP/MASE,” 1990–1 de Septiembre 2004.
[218] Ibid.
[219] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia de víctimas por minas antipersonal (MAP)/municiones abandonadas sin explotar (MASE),” 1990–1 de Septiembre 2004.
[220] Presentation by CIREC, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, 28 May 2002; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 321.
[221] Response from Álvaro Jiménez Millán, National Coordinator, CCCM, to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, Bogotá, 7 April 2004.
[222] Intervention by Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Coordinator, CCCM, at the regional victim assistance forum, Bogotá, 12 November 2003. Cases include survivors in Morales, Bolívar; El Bagre and Zaragoza, Antioquia; and Belén de Bajirá, Chocó. Interview with mine survivor in El Bagre, Antioquia, March 2004.
[223] Program for Mine Accident Prevention and Victim Assistance (PAAV), “January Report 2002,” p. 2.
[224] For more details on the implementation of the PAAV, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 192-193.
[225] Presentation by Beatriz Elena Gutiérrez Rueda, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 13 May 2003; for more details on expenditure see Article 7 Report, Form J (“Legal framework for the Attention of the Civilian Victims and their Families,” pp. 51-60), 27 May 2003 and Article 7 Report, Form J, 11 May 2004, p. 106.
[226] PAAV, “January 2002 Report,” p. 2.
[227] “La recuperación física y moral de los soldados heridos comienza en el Hospital Militar Central,” El Tiempo, 6 March 2004.
[228] Carlos Andrés Jaramillo Palacios, “Jean Charles Derien, el francés de Taganga,” El Espectador (Bogotá), 16 September 2004; interview with Jean Charles Dérien, Santa Marta, Magdalena, 28 March 2004.
[229] Presentation by CIREC, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, 28 May 2002.
[230] Email from Jeannette Perry de Saravia, CIREC, 23 September 2004.
[231] The event was held with the support of UNICEF Colombia and Canada. Email from Jeannette Perry de Saravia, CIREC, 24 May 2003.
[232] Email from Jeannette Perry de Saravia, CIREC, 29 May 2003; for details on activities in prior years see previous editions of the Landmine Monitor Report.
[233] HI, “Activity Report 2003,” Brussels, 15 July 2004, p. 19. For details on activities in prior years see previous editions of the Landmine Monitor Report.
[234] Movimondo, “Assistenza primaria e sviluppo di soluzioni integrali di riabilitazione per la popolazione disabile e vittima di violenze nella Colombia sud-occidentale;” “Riabilitazione di disabili a causa del conflitto armato nel departamento di Bolivar;” and Annual Report 2003.
[235] Interview with Mauricio Hernández, Communications Advisor, ICRC, Bogotá, 5 April 2004; ICRC Special Reports, “Mine Action 2003,” Geneva, August 2004, p. 59; “Mine Action 2002,” July 2003, p. 36.
[236] Letter sent to CCCM Santander, by André Junod, ICRC, Bucaramanga, Santander, 10 February 2004.
[237] Email from Jeannette Perry de Saravia, CIREC, 29 May 2003; CIREC, “Las Minas Antipersonal, un rompe-cabezas para armar. Diagnóstico de la Rehabilitación de los sobrevivientes en Colombia,” Bogotá, April 2003.
[238] “Presentado a la Asamblea Plan de Desarrollo de Bolívar,” El Universal, 5 March 2004; “Minas antipersonal causan inquietud en Sucre y Bolívar,” El Universal (Sincelejo), 25 March 2004.
[239] Letter from Juan Carlos Villegas, CCCM Antioquia, Medellín, 12 April 2004.
[240] Certificate of Commitment of the Magdalena Government, Santa Marta, 15 December 2003.
[241] Interview with Diana Roa Castro, UNICEF, 26 March 2004.
[242] Email from Guillermo Gil, CCCM Santander, Bucaramanga, 15 February 2004.
[243] Ibid.
[244] Letter from Mauricio Sierra, Statistics Office, University Hospital Ramón González Valencia, Bucaramanga, 11 February 2004.
[245] “Former foes in Colombia’s civil war blaze peace trail,” Guardian (London), 5 June 2003.
[246] Email from Hector Castro Portillo, Corpojurídica, 13 May 2003.
[247] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Bolívar,” Regional Bulletin No. 2, January 2003.
[248] Regional Seminar on Antipersonnel Landmine Victims, Bogotá, 12-14 November 2003, proceedings and statements available at maic.jmu.edu/conference/proceedings/2003Colombia/index.htm, accessed 12 October 2004.
[249] LSN, “Report: Raising the Voices Landmine Survivor Advocate Training Program,” 5-12 May 2001.
[250] Unless otherwise stated this information is taken from the Article 7 Report, Form J, 11 May 2004. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 192-193.
[251] CIREC, “Las Minas Antipersonal,” April 2003, p. 24.
[252] Paz y Democracia, “Working guide to follow the required procedures to be able to access the health services system and humanitarian assistance for MAP and MUSE victims,” Medellín, June 2003.