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Colombia, Landmine Monitor Report 2006


Key developments since May 2005: Non-state armed groups, most notably FARC, continued to use antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices extensively. Colombia initiated mine clearance of the military bases. Clearance of one base was completed, was ongoing in a second, and impact surveys had been carried out on 17 bases. Despite inadequate data collection, Colombia recorded a significant increase in casualties in 2005: 1,110, approximately three casualties per day, compared with 882 in 2004, 734 in 2003 and 627 in 2002.

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. National implementation legislation, Law 759, came into effect on 25 July 2002.[1] The Antipersonnel Mines Observatory of the Vice President’s Office remains the governmental agency responsible for integrated mine action in the country as the technical secretariat of the National Interministerial Commission on Mine Action.

Landmine Monitor obtained a copy of Colombia’s 2006 Article 7 transparency report, dated April 2006 and covering the period April 2005 to March 2006, but it had not been posted to the UN website as of 1 July 2006. Colombia has previously submitted five Article 7 reports.[2]

Colombia participated in the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Zagreb, Croatia in November-December 2005, where it made a statement during the General Exchange of Views, as well as the sessions on mine clearance and victim assistance. It also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2005 and May 2006. In the May meetings, it made presentations on its mine clearance and victim assistance programs.

Colombia has made a few interventions on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. In June 2004, it made a strong and unequivocal statement that any mine that is victim-activated is an antipersonnel mine, and is banned.[3] In December 2005, the government supported a proposal for more detailed Article 7 reporting on mines retained for training.[4]

The government has called on other States Parties to exert pressure on non-state armed groups (NSAGs) to accept the international norm prohibiting antipersonnel mines, as set out in the Mine Ban Treaty.[5] On 4 April 2006, at celebrations to commemorate International Mine Awareness Day, Vice President Francisco Santos Calderón called on non-state armed groups to halt the use of antipersonnel mines, asserting that “the FARC–especially–but also the ELN continue to sow death in our country, in an indiscriminate manner, sowing mines in water sources, schools, backyards of houses....”[6]

Colombia is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons Amended Protocol II, but did not attend the Seventh Annual Conference of States Parties to the protocol on 23 November 2004 and has not submitted an Article 13 national measures report for 2005.

Non-State Armed Groups

NSAGs continue to use antipersonnel mines and improvised explosives devices (IEDs) on a daily basis. Principal among opposition armed groups 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).

FARC, the largest NSAG and most prolific user of mines, has not made any new statements on landmines since January 2005, when the Central Command issued a statement defending the group’s use of antipersonnel mines on the grounds that it was fighting an adversary with more resources.[7]

The country’s second largest guerrilla group, ELN, continued preliminary peace talks with the government, but landmines have not been explicitly included as part of the talks and ELN has continued to use the weapon.[8] In April 2006, ELN representative Antonio García said ELN “complies with international norms against ... indiscriminate use” of landmines, and noted that “when we mine, we do not do it on roads, nor on populated areas. This is a topic we have been discussing with [the Swiss-based NGO] Geneva Call and we are reflecting on how ELN uses mines. We are not avoiding the topic; we are exploring it with specialists.”[9]

Other NSAGs include a large number of paramilitary forces, which operate with the tolerance, and often support of, units within the Colombian Army.[10] Some of the paramilitary forces are part of the umbrella organization, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC). There are also smaller groups such as the Self-Defense Peasant Forces of the Casanare (Autodefensas Campesinas del Casanare, ACC) and Self-Defense Peasant Forces of Meta and Vechada (Autodefensas Campesinas del Meta y Vichada, ACMV).

Most paramilitary forces have been engaged in a process of demobilization. In mid-April 2006, the government announced that the three-year demobilization of the AUC had been completed.[11] More than 30,000 paramilitary fighters from different blocs and regions were demobilized, and approximately 16,000 weapons were turned in.[12] There was only one report regarding mines; in Cesar, the AUC turned in five antipersonnel mines in February 2006.[13] However, 500 antipersonnel mines were seized from the AUC in the same month (see below).[14]

In April 2006, the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Mission of Assistance to the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPP) told media that some demobilized paramilitary groups were rearming and resuming their activities.[15] Landmine Monitor knows of no landmine use by these new paramilitary groups.

Nongovernmental Organizations Activities

By May 2006, the Colombian Campaign against Mines (Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, CCCM) had expanded its network of local coordinators to 22 departments.[16] CCCM members advise municipal governments on victim assistance and mine risk education activities, visit areas where mine-related events occur to verify incidents, carry out awareness workshops, and help survivors to claim medical support, rehabilitation and compensation. In 2005 and 2006, CCCM continued to issue its quarterly national mine action bulletin, Colombia sin minas (Colombia without mines), as well as several press releases.[17] On 22 November 2005, CCCM and Handicap International Colombia supported the global launch of the ICBL’s Landmine Monitor Report 2005 at a release event held in Medellín, Antioquia to disseminate the major findings on landmine casualties and victim assistance.[18] The Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia (CIREC) held a mine action seminar from 28 February to 3 March 2006 in Bogotá that developed CIREC’s mine action plan for 2006 through the Semillas de Esperanza (Seeds of Hope) program.

In 2005 and 2006, CCCM continued to participate in NGO efforts to engage Colombian non-state armed groups on the antipersonnel mine ban, working closely with Geneva Call. The two organizations held events with civil society actors and local authorities in Cali (Valle del Cauca) on 6 July 2005, in Santa Marta (Magdalena) on 7 July 2005 and in Popoyan, Cauca in October 2005.

Geneva Call participated in discussions with the ELN’s Central Command in Havana, Cuba in December 2005 and in February and April 2006.[19] In February 2006, CCCM members met with ELN spokesperson, Francisco Galán, in Medellín. The campaign urged ELN and the government to include landmines in their ongoing negotiations and called on the ELN to commit itself to a unilateral limitation on antipersonnel mine use. The arrangement of humanitarian agreements, even in the absence of a comprehensive peace agreement, is also the aim of the continued discussions between Geneva Call and the ELN.[20] CCCM also offered its support to a survey of areas mined by ELN in Cesar, Cauca and Magdalena (Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta).[21]


Colombia’s State Military Industry (Industria Militar, INDUMIL) ceased production of antipersonnel mines in September 1998, and destroyed its production equipment on 18 November 1999.[22] INDUMIL still fabricates Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines.[23] Colombia has stated that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode, as permitted by the Mine Ban Treaty.[24] However, Colombia has not reported on steps it has taken to ensure that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode.

NSAGs continue to produce various homemade antipersonnel and antivehicle mines and IEDs. The Colombian Army has classified the different kinds of antipersonnel mines and explosive artifacts found during emergency and tactical demining, and during seizure of stockpiles. These include mines made from beer cans with syringes as activation mechanisms, PVC tubes, milk containers, wooden boxes, and mines similar to Claymores, among others.[25] The military states that the mines are sometimes fitted with antihandling devices.[26] In May 2006, media reported the seizure of a FARC arsenal held by the Jacinto Matallana Front in the hamlet of Santa Lucía, Pasto municipality, Nariño, that included nearly four tons of Anfo, a mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel, the explosive commonly used in mineral mining.[27]


The government of Colombia is not known to have ever exported antipersonnel mines. There have been past reports of mines transferred as part of illegal weapons shipments destined for non-state armed groups in Colombia, but Landmine Monitor knows of none since 2003.

Stockpiling and Destruction

Colombia reported completion of the destruction of its 18,531 stockpiled antipersonnel mines on 24 October 2004. On that day, a final quantity of 6,814 antipersonnel mines was destroyed at the INDUMIL facilities at Ponedera military base in Atlántico department.[28] Landmine Monitor and CCCM witnessed and documented that event, and all seven prior public stockpile destruction events between June 2003 and August 2004.

In addition to the 18,531 mines destroyed, the government has reported three other destructions of antipersonnel mines. A total of 2,542 stockpiled mines were destroyed in July 1999, prior to Colombia becoming a State Party.[29] Another 391 mines were destroyed “inside of military units by expiration of their useful life.”[30] Finally, 471 mines were destroyed at the Military School, and the Battalions Muñoz, Cartagena and Nutibara.[31]

Over the years, there have been many inconsistencies and discrepancies in Colombia’s count of stockpiled mines and their destruction. The Ministry of Defense sent a letter to Landmine Monitor in September 2005 to clarify many of the problems.[32]

According to its April 2006 Article 7 report, Colombia has retained a total of 886 MAP-1 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, the same number as indicated in its 2005 report, but 100 fewer mines than reported in 2004.[33] The Ministry of Defense said the number was reduced to 886 “because the General Command after internal consultations considered that this number of mines is enough [to] cover the training necessities of the forces.”[34] The destruction of the 100 mines has not been specifically reported by Colombia.

The mines are held by the Army (600 mines total; 100 mines each by Divisions 2 to 6 and another 100 by the Army Engineers), Navy (186 mines) and Air Force (100 mines).[35] Colombia has not yet reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines—a step agreed by States Parties in the Nairobi Action Plan that emerged from the First Review Conference in November-December 2004. Colombia did not use the new expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines agreed at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in December 2005.

Seizures of NSAG Stockpiles

Between May 2005 and January 2006, CCCM regional coordinators registered more than 20 seizures of NSAG stockpiles ranging in quantity from one to 100 mines.[36] Media regularly report seizures of NSAG stockpiled mines. In October 2005, the Army recovered 128 antipersonnel mines belonging to the FARC in Guaimaral, Arauquita municipality (Arauca).[37] Later that month, it seized 60 antipersonnel mines belonging to the FARC in Paez-Belalcazar municipality, Cauca.[38] In February 2006, the Army’s Fourth Division reported the seizure of a stockpile of 500 antipersonnel mines in La Sabana, in San Martín municipality, Meta, belonging to the Centauros Bloc of the AUC.[39]

The government has not included in its Article 7 reports any information about the acquisition or destruction of antipersonnel mines from such seizures.


In June 2005, CCCM received information from the community in Caruru municipality, in the jungle of Vaupes, regarding the possible use of mines by the Armed Forces fighting NSAGs in the area. A commission of CCCM and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) visited the zone. Their investigation did not reveal any evidence linking the Army to use of antipersonnel mines.[40]

Use by Non-State Armed Groups

Use of mines by NSAGs is reported on a frequent basis in Colombia. FARC remains the country’s principal user of antipersonnel mines, and ELN is also regularly cited as being responsible for mine incidents. There have been no specific reports of use of antipersonnel mines by AUC in this reporting period (since May 2005), though mines have been seized from and turned in by AUC members. Local media reporting remains a key source of information on mine incidents in the country, however, it is often difficult to determine the types of explosive artifacts reported by media. NSAG mines sometimes feature mechanisms so that they can be command-detonated or victim-activated.

Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia: FARC is responsible for most of the antipersonnel mines being laid in Colombia. Since its last report, Landmine Monitor registered new use of antipersonnel mines by FARC forces in several municipalities that had not reported mine incidents previously. In August 2005, a marine was killed and another seriously injured after they entered a minefield reportedly laid by Front 37 of the FARC in El Aceituno, El Salado municipality, Montes de María region (Sucre).[41] That same month, FARC guerrilla Fronts 41 and 59 allegedly set off mines between Valledupar and La Mina municipality as 15 police officers supervising coca eradication operations in the area passed by.[42]

Following are some examples of ongoing use of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines by FARC:

  • In July 2005, one soldier was killed and two others injured after an antipersonnel mine allegedly laid by FARC Front 47 exploded in San Franciso, Antioquia.[43]
  • In August 2005, FARC Front 9 warned inhabitants of Cocorná municipality in Antioquia not to use the roads in Retiro or Los Limones because they had been mined; a truck driver that did not heed their caution was killed after detonating a mine.[44]
  • In August 2005, four people including two priests were killed after walking into a minefield allegedly laid by FARC in the northeastern region of Norte de Santander department.[45]
  • In September 2005, the Army’s Contraguerrilla Battalion No. 13 found a minefield containing 10 antipersonnel mines allegedly laid by FARC Front 21 in El Arrocito, Cubarral municipality, Meta.[46]
  • In September 2005, a rural truck driver and his companion were killed after driving through a minefield reportedly laid by FARC in San Juan de Arama municipality, Meta.[47]
  • On 22 September 2005, nine police officers on patrol were killed when their vehicle detonated a FARC-laid landmine in La Cruz, Nariño department.[48]
  • In October 2005, the Army’s Caribe Command I destroyed 60 antipersonnel mines laid in Santo Domingo, Fundación municipality in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, near Kogui indigenous territory, after fighting between the Army and FARC.[49]
  • In November 2005, three soldiers were reported killed, and four more injured, after entering a FARC minefield in Ituango municipality, Antioquia.[50]
  • In December 2005, the Army and intelligence services (DAS) deactivated 92 antipersonnel mines allegedly laid by FARC, including 34 antipersonnel mines located near a rural school in Samaná municipality, Caldas.[51]
  • In January 2006, the Army’s Fourth Brigade located and destroyed a minefield allegedly laid by FARC in Alto Letras, Abejorral municipality, Antioquia.[52] In total, the Fourth Brigade deactivated 110 FARC minefields that month.[53]
  • In January 2006, four people were killed, including a child, when a FARC-landmine exploded near a coca eradication project outside Vistahermosa.[54]
  • In February 2006, a FARC mine laid on a road linking the municipalities of San Carlos and San Rafael in La Esperanza, Antioquia, killed one soldier and injured two others. An ambulance taking a pregnant woman to a hospital in Rio Negro, Antioquia, was severely damaged by the explosion as well, but the vehicle’s occupants were not injured.[55]
  • In February 2006, the Army’s Fourth Brigade found and destroyed 110 antipersonnel mines allegedly laid by FARC Front 47 in La Linda and Quebrada Manizales, Sonsón municipality, Antioquia. Also in February 2006, the Army destroyed five “Chinese Hat” type FARC mines in Puerto Asís, Putumayo.[56]
  • In May 2006, four soldiers were killed and eight others wounded when they entered a FARC minefield in Antioquia department.[57]

Unión Camilista–Ejército de Liberación Nacional

Reports of landmine use by ELN continued during the reporting period:

  • In August 2005, an Army soldier was injured by an ELN-laid antipersonnel mine in El Tambo municipality, Cauca.[58] It is not known if the mine was newly-laid, but the Army’s Mountain Battalion No. 3 Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo destroyed 10 newly-laid ELN antipersonnel mines in the municipality that month.[59]
  • In December 2005, six families sought refuge in Los Andes Sotomayor, Nariño department, after a landmine killed a 72-year-old peasant in their community of Palacios. Residents and local authorities in the communities of La Esmeralda, El Huilque, El Paraíso and El Palacio denounced ELN mine-laying on roads in the area.[60]
  • In January 2006, three members of the First Marine Brigade were injured after they entered a minefield laid by the ELN Jaime Bateman Cayón Front and ERP guerrillas in San Jacinto municipality, Bolívar.[61]
  • In March 2006, the national police reported a new method for disguising mines after they deactivated two mines allegedly laid by members of the ELN Camilo Torres Restrepo Front, near El Limón hamlet, La Gloria municipality, Cesar, that were covered with a layer of concrete to create the “appearance of rocks.”[62]
  • In April 2006, the Army’s Second Division destroyed 96 antipersonnel mines laid by the Guillermo Ariza Bloc of ELN, in La Quebrada La Honda, Santa Rosa municipality, Bolívar; they also destroyed 75 kilograms of R-1 explosives and five electronic fuzes.[63]

Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia

Landmine Monitor has not received any reports of new use of antipersonnel mines specifically attributed to paramilitary forces of the AUC, or other paramilitary blocs, in this reporting period. But, as noted above, a large stockpile of weapons including 500 antipersonnel mines was discovered at an AUC camp in Meta in February 2006.[64]

Landmine and ERW Problem

Colombia is considered to be the country most affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the Americas, as a result of 40 years of internal conflict.[65] The number of affected departments and municipalities has increased regularly since Landmine Monitor started reporting. In 1999, 125 municipalities in 21 departments were affected; as of 30 May 2006, 646 municipalities in 31 departments were identified as affected, representing approximately 59 percent of the 1,092 municipalities of the country.[66] Of Colombia’s 32 departments, only one― the Caribbean Archipelago Department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina―is not affected.

Both antipersonnel mines and antivehicle mines have been laid by NSAGs along routes used by government forces and around their camps. They also have been used around schools, civilian routes, water sources, bridges, housing areas and around illicit drug cultivations.[67] Colombia’s Article 7 of April 2006 stated that 668 people were injured as a result of landmines compared to 14 as a result of ERW in 2005;[68] however, the Survey Action Center (SAC) survey found that 78 percent of casualties were caused by mines and 22 percent by UXO. (See Landmine/UXO Casualties section in this report).

From 1990 to 1 June 2006, the Observatory recorded 8,439 landmine and ERW-related incidents, including 1,236 people killed and 3,916 injured.[69] The most affected department, as of June 2006, was Antioquia, accounting for 22.6 percent of incidents registered since 1990, followed by Meta and Santander.[70]

Colombia’s landmine and ERW problem is overwhelmingly rural; as of June 2006, 96 percent of mine/ERW incidents took place in rural areas.[71]

In October 2005, SAC conducted a preliminary opinion collection survey. It identified 208 of the 330 surveyed municipalities (63 percent) as affected by landmines and UXO. In addition, it recorded 34 mine-affected municipalities that were not registered by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory. When the results are incorporated into the Observatory’s database (as of October 2005), of the 664 municipalities where information on landmines was available, 582 (or 88 percent), were considered to be affected by landmines and ERW.[72]

In addition to mines laid by NSAGs, government forces also laid mines around military installations and infrastructure. Colombia’s Article 7 reports state that there are 34 minefields; 21 minefields contain 3,111 mines and the other 13 sites need verification.[73]

In its Article 7 report of April 2006, Colombia stated that landmines affect the mobility of people, as well as the social, political and economic development of the country, adding that 88 percent of the casualties are young adults in the productive stage of life.[74] The SAC survey found that the most commonly blocked socioeconomic resource was farmland, affecting 62 percent of the 330 surveyed municipalities. In addition, 45 percent of surveyed municipalities indicated that landmines are one of the main reasons internally displaced people are unable to return home. Other major problems caused by landmines included loss of income as a result of cattle being killed and the hindrance of reconstruction efforts.[75]

Mine Action Program

National Mine Action Authority: 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.[76] CINAMA 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 one on prevention, marking, mapping and mine clearance.[77] CINAMA meets twice a year to discuss progress and plans. The next meeting was expected to take place on 18 July 2006.[78]

Mine Action Center: The Antipersonnel Mine Observatory Observatory (Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal), established by Law 759 of July 2002, functions as the technical secretariat of CINAMA . The Observatory continues to collect mine-related information and issue statistical reports, but its activities have greatly expanded in recent years; in early 2006, the National Council of Social and Economic Policy (Consejo Nacional de Política Económica y Social, CONPES) considered a proposal to transform the Observatory into a national mine action center.[79] A national mine action plan for the period 2004-2009, guides the government’s mine action policy, especially in the areas of institutional strengthening, integrated assistance to landmine victims, compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty and communication strategy on the issue.[80]

The Observatory supports mine action committees that function as focal points for mine action around the country.[81] However, the committees vary in their level of activity. In Magdalena, for example, the committee stopped meeting because the departmental government prioritized other topics instead of the mine problem, while in Meta, the mine action committee met just twice over the course of one year. Antioquia remains the most active department in terms of mine action, mainly because of strong support by local government authorities.[82] With support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Observatory worked to strengthen capacities at the departmental and local level in Antioquia and Meta, as well as in the Montes de María region, located in the departments of Bolívar and Sucre.[83] In 2005 and 2006, UNICEF also supported departmental authorities in Cauca, Antioquia, Bolivar and Sucre to develop the capacity of public officials and social workers to create advocacy initiatives, and victim assistance and mine risk education projects in conjunction with NGOs.[84]

Colombia and the OAS signed an agreement in 2003 to support the country’s humanitarian activities against landmines.[85] Through its Program for the Integrated Action against Antipersonnel Mines (Acción Integral Contra las Minas Antipersonal, AICMA), the OAS initially provided limited assistance in the fields of mine awareness, victim rehabilitation and development of a mine action database. Since 2005, the OAS, with the Inter-American Defense Board, has assisted Colombian Army personnel to strengthen the national capacity for humanitarian demining.[86]

Colombia uses the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), which was installed by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) in 2002.[87] Colombia planned to decentralize the IMSMA database to the departmental level, starting with those that are most affected. Colombia runs a mixed system, using the latest form of version 3 and some components of version 4, allowing for decentralization of the system.[88] The project is supported by the GICHD and the International Organization of Migration (IOM).[89] As of June 2006, 15 computers had been acquired and were being installed in departmental committees for integrated mine action, with training of some of the committees.[90]

The database includes information on demining activities, mine risk education and victim assistance. Colombia reports that it “constantly” undertakes a process of verification and updating with data provided by other institutions.[91] In addition, 32 departmental baselines, which include information on the number of hospitals and schools, the level of literacy and the displacement of people were prepared and integrated into IMSMA in order to better prioritize mine action.[92]

In May 2006, the Observatory reported that information on the localization of all 34 military minefields had been registered in IMSMA and that results of the ongoing local impact studies were updated as they were completed.[93] IMSMA terminals were also planned to be installed during 2006 at the navy, the army, the police and the Ministry of Defense in order to facilitate responses to emergencies.[94]

Between May and July 2005, a protocol for demining was drafted by the Observatory with the participation of the Army and National Police.[95] The protocol is based on International Mine Action Standards (IMAS). It was elaborated based on the characteristics of the minefields under the jurisdiction and control of the armed forces, and is to be applied on those specific minefields although it can be used “as a basis” to work on minefields emplaced by armed groups. Issues covered in the protocol include: safety measures, procedures for impact and technical surveys, marking, destruction of UXO and internal quality assurance.[96]

Strategic Planning and Progress

Colombia’s National Strategic Plan for 2004-2009 was approved by the government on 10 August 2004, following a participatory planning process which involved civil society, international organizations, members of departmental governments, CINAMA technical committees and the UN.[97] The strategy included four goals: capacity-building and implementing state policy against landmines; reducing casualties and providing assistance; meeting treaty obligations by demining military bases, destroying stockpiles and “universalizing the fulfillment of the Treaty” through, for example, mobilizing citizen’s participation against landmines; and promote the changes in perception and in practice of the population towards landmines. The strategy does not set fixed timelines for these goals.[98]

As of May 2006, the Observatory, with the technical support of the National Department of Planning, was in the process of drafting a Social and Economic Policy Document in order to consolidate and coordinate Colombia’s policy against landmines and ERW at the state level. Colombia’s 2006 Article 7 report states that “some problems have been detected such as lack of coordination, the ‘dispersal’ of actions, the inadequate distribution of resources and the lack of institutional evaluation, amongst others, which has affected the achievement of the set goals.”[99] All ministries are expected to integrate mine action in their action plans and include a budget line for it.[100]

According to UNDP, one of the key challenges facing mine action in Colombia is “ensuring its sustainability at the regional and local level. Regional and local authorities responsible for mine action, as well as regional mine action committees, still depend to a large degree on UNDP and UNICEF support.”[101]

Most mine clearance in Colombia has been military, undertaken for operational purposes, and has not followed IMAS.[102] In 2005, Colombia made efforts to develop humanitarian demining by establishing two teams, coordinated by a Decision Committee composed of representatives of the Observatory, the Ministry of Defense, the OAS and the Inter-American Defense Board. A first group of 40 military and police deminers was trained in humanitarian demining between September and November 2005 to clear the military bases. A second team of 40 deminers was in training in July 2006 to respond to emergencies. The Decision Committee is responsible for setting priorities for demining, based on the threat posed to the population.[103]

CCCM criticized the OAS and the Observatory for starting with clearance of the Mamonal military base, arguing that the reason was not humanitarian but was commercial, as the land was being sold by the army to private investors.[104] According to the OAS, Mamonal was chosen by the government as a safe area where deminers could get experience in clearance of military bases.[105]

Colombia’s 2006 Article 7 report states that one of the challenges in demining military bases is the lack of financial and human resources.[106] Operations lacked appropriate protective equipment, ambulances, radios and transportation vehicles.[107]

Summary of Efforts to Comply with Article 5

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Colombia must destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 March 2011. Colombia’s Law 759 of 2002 acknowledges that the deadline must be complied with, but permits the Ministry of Defense to maintain until the deadline mines laid before 1 March 2001 for protection of military bases, energy and communication infrastructure, provided that there is appropriate marking for the safety of the civilian population.[108]

The Observatory states that the government plans to meet the Article 5 deadline in terms of clearance of the minefields under the jurisdiction of the armed forces, but adds, “there is no guarantee that Colombia will be able to declare itself mine-free in 2011, especially if non-State actors do not embrace the principles in the Convention. However, the Government will not ask for any extension until evaluating the possibility to completely fulfill what is established in the Treaty.”[109]


Identification of Mined/ERW-affected Areas: Surveys and Assessments

SAC carried out a preliminary opinion collection survey with CCCM assistance during a two-week period in July and August 2005, to assess the available data on landmines and the need for a Landmine Impact Survey (LIS).[110]

Local impact surveys were conducted around the military bases; as of July 2006, 17 impact surveys had been completed.[111]

Colombia planned to initiate an LIS in 2006, with the assistance of the European Commission (EC). By July, the agreement with the EC had been signed and a tendering process was expected to begin in August. The Observatory noted that the standard LIS gives a picture of the mine situation at one point in time, so is not appropriate to the Colombian context, given the ongoing conflict. The Colombian LIS is intended to “measure tendencies” in terms of the impact of landmines on particular communities in order to guide mine risk education, victim assistance and, to a limited extent, demining activities. The survey will not be nationwide.[112]

The SAC report stated, “Colombia presents several particular challenges to conducting any survey that requires traveling to, and visiting, the 1,121 districts (municipios) throughout the country. Restricted access to communities resulting from local conflict and a poor transportation network are the primary issues that may inhibit gathering data on landmines. Taking locator readings with a global positioning system (GPS) of landmine fields, as well as collecting detailed information from community members concerning landmine locations, would also be problematic. ...they are essential tasks for an internationally recognized Landmine Impact Survey.” [113]

Fencing and Marking

According to the OAS, “in most cases, mined areas [under military jurisdiction and control] are fenced and do not pose a serious threat to nearby civilians.”[114] Very few marking and fencing operations have been conducted around minefields laid by NSAGs. The Observatory expected to conduct a large fencing and marking operation based on the results of the LIS.[115]

Mine and ERW Clearance

To carry out military demining, the armed forces had approximately 600 explosives and demolition (EXDE) groups throughout the country as of February 2006, composed of five military personnel and one dog; in 2005, there were 254 EXDE groups. An additional unit, Grupo Marte, which includes seven groups of nine army personnel, is specialized in the handling of explosives.[116]

In 2005, the Observatory registered 607 instances of military clearance, a decrease compared to the 862 events registered for 2004. Between January and April 2006, an additional 155 military clearances were registered.[117] The number of mines destroyed and the area where operations were conducted is not reported. According to the 2005 and 2006 Article 7 reports, only in 65 percent of cases does the military provide the Observatory with geographic coordinates related to its activities.[118]

Clearance operations according to IMAS were undertaken between 9 November and 1 December 2005 at the Mamonal military base, Bolívar department, by 40 military deminers. Two military officers from Honduras supervised operations; the OAS provided logistical support and life insurance to the personnel.[119] A total of 400 antipersonnel mines were destroyed in an area of 4,831 square meters.[120] The demined area was handed over to the community in a celebration on 16 December 2005. Quality assurance was undertaken by six international OAS observers.[121]

Clearance has been conducted only by manual methods.

Between January and November 2005, the Observatory received 36 requests for emergency clearance from affected communities; these are transferred to the Ministry of Defense, which decides on the appropriate action. Eight emergencies were attended to during this period, given security concerns and the availability of EXDE teams.[122]

The demining team under the supervision of the OAS is reported not to have suffered any accidents during demining. An official of the Air Force reports, however, that there have been accidents within the EXDE and Grupo Marte teams.[123]

Landmine Monitor was unable to confirm if any informal (“village”) demining had taken place in Colombia since May 2005, when local guards cleared mines and UXO in Cauca department.[124]

Clearance by Non-State Armed Groups: Some clearance has been undertaken in previous years by NSAGs. In July 2006, the Observatory reported that it had not carried out verification of the area cleared in Micohaumado, Morales municipality, by ELN in early 2005, given that the “verification should have been done during the demining operations and a verification now would require demining the area again.”[125] The CCCM local branch indicated that the road had been used since clearance by ELN and that no accidents had been registered as of February 2006.[126]

In June 2006, the mayor of Samaniego municipality (Nariño department) announced that ELN would carry out humanitarian demining in 14 hamlets of Samaniego in coming months.[127] The Observatory said that it celebrated the news and wanted to ensure that the operations by ELN would comply with international humanitarian standards; one possibility was the creation of mixed groups of army and ELN deminers.[128]

Mine Risk Education

In 2005, mine risk education (MRE) in Colombia remained at a very limited level in relation to the large number of affected municipalities and civilian casualties. There has been no regular coordination of MRE activities through the Observatory. National Law 759 calls for the creation of a subcommision on MRE, but as of July 2006 this had not been created.[129]

In 2005, the Observatory for the first time brought together organizations to share experiences, lessons learned and best practices. As a result, the National Strategic Plan on MRE for 2005-2009 was developed.[130] The objectives include: to reduce the number of landmine/UXO casualties through the promotion of safe behaviors tailored to the specific community; to provide information on the types of landmines and UXO present and their risks; to teach what to do if a person enters a mined area; and to find ways of reducing high-risk behaviors.[131] Colombia also reported that it translated IMAS for MRE.[132] A desk needs assessment prioritized 100 municipalities in 12 departments (Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caquetá, Cauca, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Meta, Norte de Santander, Santander and Vaupés); 64 of the municipalities were to be targeted immediately.[133]

However, during this Landmine Monitor reporting period, the geographical coverage of MRE in Colombia appeared to be insufficient. MRE took place in only a small number of municipalities. As of July 2006, most municipalities selected as a priority by the needs assessment had not received any MRE.

MRE in Colombia is limited by difficulties in linking with humanitarian mine clearance or emergency clearance operations due to the ongoing conflict in many parts of the country. According to CCCM, in areas where there is no humanitarian clearance or where there has been recent use of landmines, a rapid reduction in incidents and casualties cannot be expected as a result of MRE. Where the armed conflict is intense, the population may be afraid to disclose information. Meaningful MRE under these circumstances is difficult and can be carried out only if use of explosive devices, policy and other considerations are mentioned.[134]

Most of the MRE activities have been basic information sessions and advocacy, conducted on a community basis. The SAC preliminary survey in 2005 found that 101 municipalities, about one-third of the 330 municipalities, reported some kind of prevention and risk education activity.[135] Most MRE projects use data-gathering templates that are specific to each organization; there is no systematic registry of these templates or of MRE strategies, nor any overall quality control.[136]

In 2005, MRE was undertaken by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory and some departmental governments with the support of UNICEF and UNDP, and five national NGOs, CCCM, Corporación Paz y Democracia, Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco, CIREC and the Colombian Red Cross Society, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Among regional NGOs, Fundemos was no longer active in 2005; former Fundemos staff started a new NGO, Tierra de Paz (Land of Peace), in 2005 with support from the German NGO Diakonie Emergency Aid, and started MRE activities in several municipalities of Cauca. Adopt-a-Minefield supported another local NGO providing MRE in Cauca department.[137]

NGOs and the ICRC met in June 2006 to discuss a common MRE strategy.[138]

The 2005-2009 MRE strategy focuses on children in the education system. It included three phases: short term intervention, including an MRE notebook and basic MRE sessions for teachers and students; medium term intervention, integration of MRE into the Ministry of Education’s citizen’s skills program; and long term intervention, involving new alliances made by the Observatory with organizations managing projects in living together, peace, and shared community work.[139]

Colombia’s 2006 Article 7 report stated that the Observatory reported that two pilot MRE projects were being implemented; one in the Magadalena Medio region, which includes the departments of Antioquia, Bolívar, Santander and Cesar, and the second in the Montes de María region, which includes the departments of Bolívar and Sucre.[140] The projects involve institutional strengthening with mayors, local human rights officers and local prevention committees; no other details are reported.[141]

The Observatory’s “+Arte-Minas” (More Art Less Mines) project developed MRE materials including a notebook, posters, other teaching materials, and a series of seven songs by Colombian artists. During 2005, the project included the advocacy and fundraising event Peter and the Wolf with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá and the Spanish artist Miguel Bosé, and a partnership with actors from the television series, Factor X, in order to raise funds for survivor assistance.[142]

During 2005, UNICEF continued to support 18 departmental committees for mine action which include MRE and victim assistance among their responsibilities. Outputs from the activities of the 18 mine action plans with regards to MRE were not reported. In 2006, UNICEF developed a pilot project for teacher training in Antioquia department to test MRE materials for use in schools. In June 2006, UNICEF provided MRE training to mobile teams of the National Institute of Family Well Being prior to their deployment to the region of Alto Atrato in Chocó, a conflict-area contaminated by explosive devices and in which there has been population displacement.[143]

Corporación Paz y Democracia, supported by UNICEF, UNDP and the Observatory, implemented MRE projects in 15 municipalities of Antioquia, in 15 municipalities of Montes de María (in Bolívar and Sucre departments), and in six municipalities of Magdalena Medio region (in Bolívar and Santander departments). The one-year project began in Antioquia in the second half of 2005; activities in Meta were launched in January 2006 and were followed by those in Magdalena Medio. At first, baseline data is gathered to start with the process of community-based MRE. According to UNICEF, as of March 2006, 211 MRE campaigns had been carried out with the participation of 2,500 people.[144] MRE projects by Corporación Paz y Democracia have had evaluatory and quality control visits from international UNICEF staff, all of which have shown positive results, according to its project coordinator.[145]

CCCM in collaboration with Corporación Paz y Democracia initiated a project, Reinsertion of [Survivors] in Mine Risk Education Programs, in 2006 aiming to train 26 mine survivors as MRE trainers in 14 departments.[146] CCCM organized a series of workshops, sessions and public events throughout 22 departments of Colombia. Most sessions include advocacy messages, such as information on the Mine Ban Treaty, the obligations that States Parties have assumed, and the rights of landmine survivors.[147]

CIREC carried out a mine action (including MRE) training of trainers for 21 community leaders from Norte de Santander department and 22 community leaders from Cundinamarca, from 17 to 23 October 2005. Following this, “prevention messages” were delivered by the participants to 840 direct beneficiaries.[148] In June 2006, CIREC, supported by UNICEF, trained 166 community association members, including many people with disabilities, in MRE.[149]

The Colombian Red Cross, with support from ICRC, carried out MRE in two municipalities of Cauca department and five municipalities in Antioquia. Baseline community studies were conducted in two municipalities in Norte de Santander and in two municipalities in Meta. MRE materials were revised in 2005. In June 2005, the Colombian Red Cross carried out three MRE workshops in San Juan de Arama municipality, Meta, targeting local rural inhabitants and teachers for the first time in this department.[150]

Funding and Assistance

Unlike other heavily mine-affected countries, international donors have contributed little funding directly to mine action in Colombia. Where support has been provided, it has been through international organizations. In 2005, $2,332,300 was contributed by seven countries and the EC, a decrease of some 34 percent from 2004 ($3.53 million provided by three countries and the EC).[151] Donors in 2005 were:

  • Canada: C$411,000 ($339,249), consisting of C$161,000 ($132,893) to OAS AICMA for technical and impact surveys, and C$250,000 ($206,356) to UNICEF for victim assistance and MRE;[152]
  • Germany: €139,796 ($174,032) to UNICEF for MRE and victim assistance;[153]
  • EC: €100,580 ($125,212), consisting of €80,053 ($99,658) to Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco for MRE, and €20,527 ($25,554) to Diakonie for MRE; [154]
  • Japan: ¥70,986,190 ($644,684) for the renovation of a rehabilitation center at the Hospital Universitario del Valle Evaristo García in Cali;[155]
  • Norway: NOK2,211,283 ($343,303), consisting of NOK1,050,000 ($163,013) to CCCM for MRE, NOK1,097,000 ($170,310) to CCCM for economic reintegration of landmine survivors, and NOK64,283 ($9,980) to Fundación Antonio Restrepo Barco for mine action;[156]
  • Spain: €215,000 ($267,653) consisting of €57,000 ($70,959) for mine survivor and war wounded assistance, €70,000 ($87,143) for victim assistance, and €88,000 ($109,551) for victim assistance;[157]
  • Switzerland: CHF325,000 ($260,856), consisting of CHF150,000 ($120,395) for MRE, and CHF175,000 ($140,461) to UNICEF for victim assistance;[158]
  • US: $177,311 to Landmine Survivors Network (LSN).[159]

In addition, Adopt-A-Minefield reported contributing $84,215 for MRE in Colombia in 2005.[160]

The Colombian government approved COP571 million (about $213,400) for the national mine action program for July 2005-June 2006, substantially less than before (COP2.5 billion, about $934,100, for July 2004-June 2005).[161]

UNICEF reported receiving contributions totalling $1,016,568 for multi-year periods including 2005-2006; from Canada $685,868 (2004-2008) for MRE and survivor assistance; Sweden $170,000 (2003-2006); Switzerland $125,000 (2005-2007) for survivor assistance; and UK $35,700 (2003-2005).[162]

The Observatory is reported to have received a total of $6 million to carry out its activities to date.[163] Funding has been provided by Canada, Japan, Sweden, the US, the EC, UNDP, IOM and UNICEF.[164]

The OAS did not provide specific reporting on funding for its mine action program in Colombia in 2005. It told Landmine Monitor in September 2005 that funding shortages had impeded full implementation of its planned activities.[165] The OAS had previously estimated that it would require a budget of $800,000 for mine action in Colombia in 2005.[166]

In April 2006, the EC was reported to have made a contribution of €2.5 million ($3.1 million) for a victim assistance project in Colombia.[167] The funding will be directed to the Observatory. The total budget for the project is €3.15 million ($3.9 million), with the remainder to be provided by the Colombian government.[168]

Colombia was accepted into the US Department of State’s humanitarian mine action program in September 2005, to commence in 2006. Funding will be provided through the OAS for training and equipping a military 40-person humanitarian demining emergency response capability for the Observatory.[169]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

Colombia reported in April 2006 that, “whereas [mine] casualties are diminishing in the world, in Colombia they increased in an alarming way.”[170] In 2005, the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory recorded 1,110 new landmine/UXO casualties, approximately three casualties per day; 288 people were killed and 822 people injured.[171] This represents a significant increase from the 882 new landmine/UXO casualties in 2004, 734 in 2003, and 627 in 2002.[172] The majority of casualties (767) were military personnel, 338 were civilians, four were armed non-state actors, and the status of one person was unknown. Casualties included at least 28 women, and 28 girls and 65 boys under 18 years; the gender of three children is not known. The most common activity at the time of the incident was military activity, other activities were “passing by” (148), and farming (26); the activity at the time of 164 incidents was unknown.

Casualties continued to be reported in 2006. As of 1 June, the Observatory had registered 526 new casualties (106 people killed and 420 injured); 357 were military personnel, 167 were civilians, one non-state actor, and the status of one casualty was not known. There were at least 10 women, six girls and 33 boys under 18 years, among the casualties; the gender of six children was not known.

Landmine Monitor and knowledgeable sources in Colombia assume there is significant under-reporting of casualties.[173] Civilians injured by landmines in rural areas are often a long distance from available healthcare services, and if they do reach those services their injuries may not be recorded as mine-related because of security concerns. Between October 2005 and 25 June 2006, Handicap International (HI) identified 60 mine survivors in Antioquia and Bolivar departments, of whom 75 percent were not included in Observatory statistics. HI sends its statistics to the Antioquia departmental government on a monthly basis.[174] CCCM also has records of casualties that had not previously been included in Observatory statistics.[175]

There is also under-reporting of military casualties, and practically no reporting on NSAGs in Colombia. Based on information provided to CCCM-Santander by the Army’s Second Division in June 2005, military personnel were considered injured only if they lost a leg or if the injury was severe.[176] The Observatory reports only 41 non-state actors killed or injured by mines since 1990. It is reported that ELN records its own casualties, but this information is not shared.[177]

The rapidly increasing number of casualties is linked in part to the government’s policy of eradicating coca fields and reclaiming land under the “Plan Patriota,” thus increasing NSAG mine-use to protect their camps and coca fields. Most of the new casualties are military, but also include unemployed civilians hired by the military to clear coca fields, for example in Vistahermosa in La Macarena national park in Meta department, or NSAGs stepping on their own devices.[178] In January 2006, two peasants stepped on a mine reportedly laid by NSAGs in Vistahermosa; one was killed. The two peasants were not part of the Macarena coca eradication operation, which the government launched after the 28 December 2005 incident that killed 29 military personnel.[179] A 26-year-old man was killed and two others injured after setting off an antipersonnel mine in Macarena national park while eradicating coca in March 2006.[180] An Observatory study confirmed that there is a “direct relation between the placement of mines, mine accidents and illicit crops.  FARC -mainly- has been using mines to protect their narco-traffic business.” This was particularly the case in Meta, Vichada, Antioquia, Putumayo, Caquetá, Bolívar and Norte de Santander.[181]

The Observatory’s registry of mine casualties in Colombia uses IMSMA; information is obtained from departmental and municipal authorities, regional ombudsmen, DAS, bulletins, civilians and six Colombian newspapers. Data collection is an ongoing process with statistics continually updated as new casualties, and those from previous periods, are identified.[182] The Observatory supported the pilot epidemiological control system SIVIGILA in Antioquia, which will in future include information on mine/UXO incidents.[183]

From 1990 to 1 June 2006, the Observatory recorded a total of 5,152 mine/UXO casualties (1,236 people killed and 3,916 injured) from 8,439 incidents; 3,264 were military, 1,845 civilians, 41 NSAG members; and two cases were unknown. At least 187 casualties were women, 117 were girls and 418 were boys under 18 years; the gender of 33 children was not known. According to the Observatory, the most common activities at the time of the incident were: military activities (3,152 casualties), “passing by” (582), farming (144), tampering (83), playing (62), police activity (32), collecting water, wood or food (24), working at home (20), traveling (14), herding animals (13), fishing (10), other activities (65), and unknown (951). According to the government, 92 percent of casualties occur in rural areas and 88 percent of casualties are people of working age.[184]

The 10 Colombian departments with the most reported casualties from 1990 to 1 May 2006 were: Antioquia with 1,288 casualties (25 percent); Meta 492 casualties (9.5 percent); Bolívar 419 casualties (eight percent); Caquetá 387 casualties (7.5 percent); Norte de Santander 336 casualties (6.5 percent); Cauca 274 casualties (5.3 percent); Santander 257 casualties (five percent); Arauca 224 casualties (4.3 percent); Tolima 195 (3.7 percent) and Cundinamarca 142 casualties (2.8 percent). The number of reported casualties in Antioquia increased from 678 (September 2004) to 1,288 in May 2006.[185]

Landmine Monitor estimates that the actual number of casualties could be at least 20 percent higher than recorded by the Observatory due to delays in reports from remote locations. The Observatory does not have the capacity to proactively locate casualties, and the departmental authorities, who are responsible for data collection within the Observatory framework of decentralization, do not have up-to-date lists of casualties and incidents. This would mean there could be between 6,500 and 15,000 mine/UXO casualties in Colombia, including civilians, military and NSAGs (a smaller proportion than the other two groups).[186]

Casualty data collection is further hampered by the large number of internally displaced people in Colombia, estimated at three million. It is unknown how many mine casualties there are among this group, and where they are registered, especially if they do not have supporting documents or an incident occurs when they are displaced from their homes. Displaced survivors are among the poorest in Colombia, not having a social safety net, documents necessary to receive services and very limited financial means. The majority of the displaced population in Colombia are women and children.[187]

The SAC preliminary opinion collection from 13 July to 15 August 2005 covered 330 municipalities (29 percent of the country) but in the most mine-affected department of Antioquia covered only 14 percent of municipalities, leading to an incomplete picture of the number of casualties. Local informants were aware of 621 casualties throughout Colombia between 1 June 2003 and August 2005, including 138 killed; there is no information on 53 casualties. At least 18 percent of casualties (112) were under 18 years and 16 percent were females. The survey found that 78 percent of casualties (485; 101 killed and 384 injured) were caused by landmines and 22 percent by UXO (136; 37 killed and 99 injured). It indicated that 193 casualties occurred in Antioquia, 65 in Caldas, 62 in Cesar, 44 in Boyacá, 43 in Cauca, 39 in Meta, 27 in Cundinamarca, 26 in Chocó, 24 in Norte de Santander, 22 in Arauca, and 76 in other parts of the country. The most common activity at the time of the incident was farming (210). Tampering was the cause of five percent of casualties, but contrary to other LIS, the rate of casualties was higher among adults (21 casualties) than children (13 casualties).[188]

Survivor Assistance

At the First Review Conference, Colombia was identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with “the greatest responsibility to act, but also the greatest needs and expectations for assistance” in providing adequate services for the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors.[189] Colombia prepared its 2005-2009 objectives for the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in November-December 2005. The objectives included: consolidate and decentralize information management at different levels; reduce the number of landmine casualties and provide effective healthcare; and create a national strategy for integrated care of landmine survivors. There were no specific objectives for physical rehabilitation, psychosocial support and social reintegration, economic reintegration and laws and public policies.[190]

At the Standing Committee meetings in May 2006, Colombia presented its progress in achieving its 2005-2009 objectives, and included a victim assistance expert in its delegation. Colombia highlighted as main achievements in 2005: developing a National Council of Public Policy document on disability; analyzing the process of providing medical care, rehabilitation, legal and administrative assistance and their costs; a decree providing rehabilitation retroactively; organizing interdepartmental meetings with survivors; developing shared responsibility through awareness-raising; and improved and broadened information management. The main challenges included: extending national geographical coverage and the package of services; building capacity and improving medical care, referral systems and community-based rehabilitation programs; including mine survivors in policy-and strategy-making; and supporting disabled people’s organizations and implementation of disability rights.[191]

Colombia’s Article 7 report of April 2006 included voluntary Form J providing an update on victim assistance activities.[192]

Survivors are increasingly engaged by the government in awareness campaigns and activities aiming to inform the public of the magnitude of the landmine problem, the suffering it causes, and to highlight that mine use is a breach of international humanitarian law. However, there is little information on the positive impact these government actions have on the actual life of survivors and their families. Private foundations, international organizations and NGOs working on survivor assistance are achieving results due to their presence and knowledge of the situation at the municipal and community level, and due to their cooperation and networking. They play a key role in providing assistance to all segments of society, as they are not identified with the government.[193]

The Antipersonnel Mine Observatory’s technical subcommittee on mine victim assistance coordinates and monitors the program for Mine Accident Prevention and Victim Assistance in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Protection, international organizations, state agencies and NGOs. The Ministry of Interior coordinates the Committee of Prevention and Assistance of Disasters.[194] In 2005, the Observatory developed new policies for the integrated care of landmine casualties, with special focus on child survivors, as many casualties are children. A plan for godparents (padrinos) for survivors, and for promoting social responsibility, was also prepared.[195]

Health facilities in mine-affected areas reportedly have the infrastructure, equipment, supplies and staff to deal with landmine casualties. Hospitals are obliged to provide free and immediate assistance to mine casualties and a referral system is in place to ensure adequate rehabilitation. The state assumes the cost of services and the National Supervision of Health monitors the quality of services.[196]

First-aid is available through the Colombian Red Cross, Civil Defense, and Firefighters (Bomberos). In some areas, emergency transport is available; Antioquia department has an air ambulance.[197] However, from Landmine Monitor field visits in May and November 2005, it appears that emergency care for civilians at the scene of a mine incident continues to be poor, existing medical treatment is slow, and transportation to health facilities is inadequate. The rural health posts will often vary in terms of medical supplies available, number of personnel, and the training of personnel. Roadblocks, interruptions of public transportation, and “vehicle-free days” prohibitions imposed by combatants to prevent movement on the roads sometimes prevent survivors from reaching adequate medical care. It can take hours or even days to reach the nearest hospital.[198] Health professionals may be threatened if they are perceived as taking sides; occasionally health professionals are kidnapped and forced to provide services, and health centers are abandoned for security reasons or are raided for supplies.[199] However, the government is in the process of building capacity in rural areas by training health personnel, and providing medical equipment and ambulance services.[200] A draft decree discussing accident insurance and emergency transport was discussed; under the decree mine/UXO casualties would receive emergency transport and stabilization in the first health center.[201]

Specialized medical and rehabilitation services are for the most part located in the main urban centers, far from the mine-affected areas. Level III and level IV hospitals have the capacity to provide surgical assistance and corrective surgery.[202] However, transport costs are often beyond the means of civilian mine casualties; new facilities are opened without taking this into account.[203] When people do not possess the necessary supporting documents they cannot receive treatment, which is a problem for indigenous and displaced people. Reportedly, referrals to specialized health centers for post-hospitalization are not automatically made for survivors, and many healthcare facilities charge survivors for medical services, such as medical exams, X-rays and basic medication, all of which are too expensive for poor families. Other medication and certain types of services, such as plastic surgery, are not covered by the obligatory health plan. As a result, many survivors and their families end up in debt, postpone or forego treatment.[204]

An additional pressure on the system is the demobilization of most paramilitary groups, who, now considered to be civilians, compete with others for the resources available.[205] According to CCCM and local hospital authorities, one of the biggest challenges is the delay in reimbursement to medical and rehabilitation providers. This limits the financial means of service providers, who therefore prefer to treat patients with private health plans and not landmine survivors who are covered by the state.[206]

Military mine casualties are transported to an emergency center and to the Central Military Hospital in Bogotá, fully equipped to handle trauma cases. Military survivors have access to programs for physical rehabilitation and psychological support.[207]

The paramilitary had a rehabilitation center on the northern coast; NSAGs have their own surgeons and health services. However, many members of NSAGs are likely to lack adequate medical and rehabilitation treatment.[208]

In 2005, the Observatory participated in the US Army Southern Command project, with support from the US Department of State, training six departmental teams and 12 municipal teams in dealing with physical and psychological emergencies to minimize the impact of landmine incidents. The teams were from Santander, Norte de Santander, Bolívar, Arauca, Caquetá and Putumayo.[209] The ICRC conducted joint missions with the Ministry of Social Protection mobile medical teams to remote rural areas affected by conflict, and helped with the reopening of nine health posts in cooperation with local health authorities.[210]

Physical rehabilitation services are available in several major cities; services, but not accommodation and transport, are free of charge for a maximum of one year. The Ministry of Social Protection covers the cost of the first prosthetic or orthotic; sometimes local authorities cover the cost of replacements. Access to services is limited due to the location of the centers, a lack of awareness of the available services, and complicated procedures. Training in rehabilitation medicine, physical therapy and occupational therapy is available.[211]

Legally, survivors are entitled to psychosocial support for one year after the incident.[212] The psychological effects of armed conflict are the main health and physical problem faced by victims of conflict in Colombia, but mental health services receive little attention by health authorities and are under-funded.[213]

The Ministry of Education deals with inclusive education and teacher training for people with disabilities, but accessibility is limited. The National Learning Institute (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, SENA) provides vocational training in urban centers; these courses are free of charge for people with disabilities. In 2005, the Observatory and SENA started training of trainers for the integrated care of survivors, including emergency assistance, psychosocial support, socioeconomic reintegration and job placement. It was expected to deploy 200 SENA instructors in 64 municipalities of Colombia in 2006.[214] Economic reintegration programs are also available, including micro-credit schemes, job placement schemes and unemployment subsidies for vulnerable groups. State compensation is paid to survivors or the families of those killed in mine/UXO incidents.[215]

Reportedly, only seven percent of people with disabilities in Bogotá have access to education and only 15 percent have access to rehabilitation services.[216]

CIREC provides integrated rehabilitation services, as well as medical services, psychosocial support, educational opportunities and direct financial assistance.[217] In 2005, CIREC assisted 8,944 patients, providing 2,489 medical consultations, 3,199 physical and occupational therapy sessions, 446 psychology sessions and 2,810 social services. The center produced 481 prostheses and 4,330 orthoses. CIREC treated 83 mine/UXO survivors, of whom 11 were military and 72 civilian; 13 other mine survivors were referred by the OAS. CIREC provides mobile medical and rehabilitation services to assist people with disabilities in remote rural areas; in 2005, they assisted 407 people, providing 46 prostheses, 28 orthoses, 67 wheelchairs and 95 other technical supports.[218]

CIREC’s Semillas de Esperanza (Seeds of Hope) community leadership program includes a variety of psychosocial and socioeconomic reintegration programs and technical support to associations of people with disabilities in regions affected by violence and receives UNICEF support. In October 2005, CIREC and Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) signed an agreement to implement phase II of the program in 23 municipalities in Santander, Norte de Santander, Cundinamarca, and Cauca. In 2005, income generation projects benefited 59 people in Santander, Bolívar, Cauca, and Cundinamarca departments. The program trained 45 team leaders and provided leadership training to 840 people in communities in Norte de Santander and Cundinamarca. All groups of “Seeds of Hope” collect mine/UXO survivor information with the purpose of identifying future beneficiaries.[219]

The University Hospital of the Valley in Cali received funding from Japan and the Valle del Cauca departmental government to develop a rehabilitation center covering Nariño, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Chocó, Risaralda, Quindío, Caldas, Huila, Putumayo and Caquetá, which was inaugurated in June 2006. The center will have the capacity to provide surgery, physiotherapy, occupational and language therapy to landmine/UXO survivors, but will not produce prostheses. Timely provision of prostheses to the hospital is problematic as there is a delay in reimbursement of costs. Other challenges include the lack of transportation and accommodation, and psychological support and socioeconomic reintegration services are not available.[220]

In Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, the Center for Orthoses and Prostheses opened on 18 November 2005. It benefits both civilian and military people with disabilities, including mine survivors.[221]

The University Hospital San Vicente de Paúl in Medellín, Antioquia, provides integrated rehabilitation for mine survivors; in 2005, the center assisted 69 survivors with support from La Caixa Foundation of Barcelona, Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, and the Swiss Foundation for Landmine Victims Aid.[222] The Hogar Jesús de Nazareth (Jesus of Nazareth Shelter) in Bucaramanga, Santander, assisted 38 landmine survivors receiving physical rehabilitation in the city with accommodation and food.[223] Other organizations providing rehabilitation services are the University Hospital of Santander, Bucaramanga, which is aiming to open a regional rehabilitation center, and the NGO Corporación Dike.[224]

ICRC continued its program to assist victims of violence in 2005, providing second hand prostheses, transport, and assistance during the rehabilitation process. Survivors also received legal advice regarding their rights, as well as financial support. In 2005, ICRC assisted 102 mine survivors, including 57 new cases and 45 cases from 2004. In addition, 28 UXO survivors received support, including 19 new cases and nine from 2004.[225] In May 2006, ICRC organized a seminar on war surgery. The ICRC made an evaluation visit in 2005 to several rehabilitation centers and, as a result decided to donate polypropylene for the fabrication of 50 prostheses in each center, to provide special tools and prosthetic components, and to train a technician of each institute in Nicaragua.[226]

CCCM, with the support of the government of Catalonia and the La Caixa Foundation of Barcelona and in partnership with the Catalan NGO Movimento per la Pau (Movement for Peace), locates mine survivors and provides transport and support while they are undergoing rehabilitation in Bogotá and other urban centers. CCCM started a 12-month project on 1 October 2004 in Antioquia, Cauca, Meta and the south of Bolívar and Santander, benefiting 80 survivors and their families. Evaluation of the support stated that there was an increased understanding of bureaucratic procedures, administrative obstacles and political will or lack thereof. Increased interaction with other assistance organizations, departmental authorities, and more survivor input, as well as improved data collection was advised.[227] Following a new contribution from Barcelona, the project has been extended to September 2006, 50 survivors have been identified as beneficiaries, and 41 have received support as of June 2006.[228] CCCM and Movimento per la Pau started a similar 12-month project on 1 April 2005, in Caldas, Caquetá, Cesar, Norte de Santander and Nariño departments which had not benefited from assistance projects before. In the first nine months, only 26 people were assisted, as the identification of survivors was hampered due to security issues and lack of organizational support for the project coordinators. In the last three months, 52 more people were assisted; the project was not extended.[229]

CCCM, with the Swiss Foundation for Landmine Victims Aid, supported 10 additional landmine survivors in Aquitania and San Francisco municipalities, Antioquia.[230] With UNDP support, CCCM provided assistance and advice to 20 mine survivors claiming their rights to care and rehabilitation from Meta, Antioquia, and the Montes de María region; CCCM monitored the quality of care and rehabilitation they received.[231]

In September 2004, Handicap International, in partnership with Foundation for Integrated Rehabilitation (REI), started a program to improve the situation of displaced people and people with disabilities in the departments of Antioquia, Bolívar, and Cesar through a community-based rehabilitation approach.[232] Through this program, HI identified civilian mine/UXO survivors and started the Assistance to Landmine/UXO Victims in Antioquia and Bolívar project in October 2005, aiming to provide orthopedic, rehabilitation, and psychological support. HI identified survivors outside the General System of Social Security of Colombia in collaboration with ICRC, REI Foundation in Cartagena, Orthopraxis Orthopedic Workshop in Medellín and local hospitals. By June 2006, 60 survivors were identified (five from Bolívar and 55 from Antioquia) and 52 of them received assistance. HI has an agreement with Orthopraxis and REI Foundation to adapt prostheses of survivors who are not covered by the state because they lack necessary documents. The project will also provide small grants for productive projects to at least 10 of the identified survivors. In 2006, UNICEF, in cooperation with CIREC and HI, aimed to provide physical and psychological rehabilitation for, and to support the socioeconomic reintegration of 65 landmine survivors (40 in Antioquia and 25 in Bolívar). On 6 and 7 April 2006, HI organized a training seminar for local authorities, health and humanitarian aid actors, and community members of Bajo Cauca-Causasia region, Antioquia, to improve healthcare services for civilian mine/UXO survivors in the region; 17 survivors participated.[233]

The Antioquia departmental government offers legal advice to survivors and their families to assist with procedures to access state humanitarian aid.[234] In Antioquia and Cauca, Corporación Paz y Democracia, with the support of UNICEF, provided legal and educational assistance to survivors and their families.[235]

The Antipersonnel Mine Survivors Foundation, founded by a mine survivor, provides psychosocial support to landmine survivors in Cauca, Santander, Medellín, and Bogotá.[236]

The Der-hechos Group of the Javeriana University provides legal counseling services assisting people with disabilities in claiming their benefits and services. The group is supported by the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies and CCCM.[237]

United for Colombia (UFC), established in 2003 by Colombians living in the US, supports military and civilians disabled by the conflict in Colombia. In July 2005, four Colombian military mine survivors were assisted at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. In March 2006, UFC sent a team of US doctors for a training session in surgical interventions at the Military Hospital and the Kennedy Hospital in Colombia.[238]

Disability Policy and Practice

Colombia has legislation that protects disabled people’s rights, including mine survivors. However, implementation of the legislation is limited and many mine survivors do not know about benefits and services available.[239]

The Ministry of Social Protection, the Presidency, Acción Social and the Ministry of Education, provide financial support and capacity-building for associations and networks of people with disabilities.[240]

[1] See Article 7 Report, Form A, 6 May 2005, and Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 255, for details on penal sanctions and other aspects of the law.
[2] Colombia has previously submitted five Article 7 reports on 6 May 2005, 11 May 2004, 27 May 2003, 6 August 2002 and 15 March 2002.
[3] Remarks to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2004 (Landmine Monitor/HRW notes).
[4] Interventions at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties, Zagreb, 30 November 2005. Notes taken by Landmine Monitor Colombia.
[5] See for example, “Intervención de Colombia en los temas del cumplimiento del Articulo 5, universalización, destrucción del arsenal almacenado,” Maria Victoria de Santos, National Government Delegate, Sixth Meeting of States Parties, Zagreb, Croatia, 28 November 2005; Intervention by María Angela Holguin, Ambassador to the UN, and María Angela Holguin, First Committee Debates, UN General Assembly, New York, 3 October 2005.
[6] Presidencia de la República (SNE), “Vicepresidente Santos pide a grupos ilegales dejar de sembrar minas antipersona,” Bogotá, 4 April 2006.
[7] “Plan Patriota after 14 months of its implementation,” statement issued by the Secretariat of the Central Chiefs of Staff of FARC-EP, 26 January 2005, www.rebelion.org.
[8] Three rounds of talks were held, in Havana, Cuba in December 2005 and February 2006, and in Medellín in April 2006.
[9] “El Oriente quiere ser un ejemplo para el Eln,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 19 April 2006.
[10] See Human Rights Watch, The “Sixth” Division: Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia, New York: Human Rights Watch, September 2001.
[11] “Editorial: La desmovilización de las Auc,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 23 April 2006.
[12] “Con la desmovilización de 30.431 paramilitares se llega al fin de un desarme histórico,” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 19 April 2006.
[13] CCCM Cesar, “Informe Regional, Febrero 2006,” Valledupar, 1 March 2006.
[14] Colombian Army (ANE), “Hallado campamento de las autodefensas en el Meta,” 17 February 2006; “Colombian army seizes huge rightist arsenal,” EFE (Bogotá), 17 February 2006.
[15] “Surgen nuevos grupos de paramilitares que entrarían a operar cuando termine el actual desarme con las autodefensas,” Caracol (Bogotá), 25 April 2006; “Rearme de paras en zonas de coca,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 28 April 2006.
[16] These programs are supported financially and technically by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Norwegian government, the Generalitat of Catalunya, and the Townhall of Barcelona and Caixa Foundation. The departments are Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caldas, Caquetá, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Santander, Guaviare, Huila, Tolima, Sucre, Valle del Cauca, Casanare, Putumayo and Vaupés.
[17] On 9 November 2005, for example, the CCCM issued a communiqué in which it stated that the humanitarian demining project started by the government in the Mamonal former Naval Base, in Bolívar department, was not humanitarian in nature since clearance was being carried out for financial interests related to sale of the land for commercial purposes, not because it was a priority for civilian populations. CCCM, Press Release No. 22, Bogotá, 9 November 2005, www.colombiasinminas.org.
[18] See ICBL Website Report, “Victim Assistance report launch in Medellín, Colombia Draws International Attention,” www.icbl.org/lm/updates/va_release_summary.
[19] Geneva Call Press Release, “ELN will talk about antipersonnel landmines with Geneva Call in Cuba,” 7 December 2005; Glemis Mogollón Vergara, “Antonio García está en Cuba; solo falta Luis C. Restrepo,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 14 December 2005; “Grupo suizo espera reducir minas terrestres en Colombia,” Associated Press (Havana), 21 December 2005, and email correspondence from Anki Sjöberg, Geneva Call, 21 July 2006.
[20] Email from Anki Sjöberg, Geneva Call, 21 July 2006.
[21] CCCM, “Carta dirigida al Comando Central del Ejército de Liberación Nacional,” Medellín, 8 February 2006.
[22] For details on destruction of stockpiles, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 315.
[23] Interviews with Engineer Sergio Rodríguez, Second Technical Manager, INDUMIL, 5 July 2000 and 24 July 2001.
[24] Letter from General Commander of the Armed Forces, 21 January 2000.
[25] Armed Forces presentation, “Desarrollo Compromisos Convención de Ottawa,” National Army, Bogotá, 26 January 2004.
[26] Armed Forces presentation, “Desarrollo Compromiso con la Convención de Ottawa,” Bogotá, 6 March 2006.
[27] “Destruyeron 4 toneladas de anfo e incautaron material de guerra,” Diario del Sur (Pasto), 4 May 2006.
[28] Presidencia de la República (SNE), “Colombia cumple con la Convención de Ottawa,” “En Ponedera se destruyó la última mina antipersonal almacenada por el Estado,” 24 October 2004.
[29] Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2006.
[30] “Antipersonnel Mines,” document provided by Emersson José Forigua Rojas, Advisor, Directorate of International Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, to Landmine Monitor (MAC), 27 September 2005. These are also listed in Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2006. The date of destruction is not reported.
[31] “Antipersonnel Mines,” document provided by Emersson José Forigua Rojas, Ministry of National Defense, to Landmine Monitor (MAC), 27 September 2005. The date of destruction is not reported. These mines are not listed in the April 2006 Article 7 report.
[32] Ibid. The Ministry explained inconsistencies in considerable detail, noting such things as mines retained for training being listed as mines to be destroyed, counting antitank mines as antipersonnel mines, mines being reported as held by the wrong service, and failures of accounting due to inexperience of personnel.
[33] Article 7 Reports, Form B, April 2006, 6 May 2005 and 11 May 2004. In the 2004 report, the Army held 786 mines, the Air Force 100 mines, and the Navy 100 mines. This would apparently indicate that the Army transferred 86 antipersonnel mines to the Navy and destroyed 100 mines no longer needed for training activities, although the government did not specifically report any destruction.
[34] “Antipersonnel Mines,” document provided by Emersson José Forigua Rojas, Ministry of National Defense, to Landmine Monitor (MAC), 27 September 2005.
[35] Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2006.
[36] CCCM Caldas Regional Report, “Desactivación de 100 MAP elaboradas en botellas de plástico – Unidad antiexplosivos DAS regional Caldas, en el Municipio de Samaná, en julio 26 de 2005,” Manizales, August 2005.
[37] National Army of Colombia Press Release, “Localizado depósito clandestino de minas antipersona de las FARC,” 2 October 2005.
[38] “Descubierto arsenal de la Jacobo Arenas en Páez–Belalcázar,” El Liberal (Popayán), 18 October 2005.
[39] Colombian Army, “Hallado campamento de las autodefensas en el Meta,” 17 February 2006; “Colombian army seizes huge rightist arsenal,” EFE (Bogotá), 17 February 2006.
[40] See, Maria Clara Ucrós, CCCM Communications Coordinator, “CCCM Mission Report to Caruru, Vaupes,” Bogotá, 23 September 2005; UN OCHA, “Informe de Misión Caruru,” September 2005, www.colombiassh.org/temp/misiones.html.
[41] “Infantes caen en mina,” El Meridiano de Sucre (Sincelejo), 5 August 2005.
[42] “Ataque de FARC deja 15 policías muertos y 14 heridos en el norte de Colombia,” Agence France-Presse (Bogotá), 2 August 2005.
[43] “Explosión deja un militar muerto y dos heridos en noroeste de Colombia,” Agence France-Presse (Bogotá), 12 July 2005.
[44] CCCM Press Release No. 20, “Las minas acechan a los civiles, Crítica situación en Cocorná,” Bogotá, 31 August 2005.
[45] “Asesina FARC a cuatro personas al noreste de Colombia,” Notimex (Bogotá), 15 August 2005.
[46] ANE, “Desactivadas diez minas antipersona de las Farc,” Bogotá, 21 September 2005.
[47] “Campo minado explota al paso de camión con insumos agrícolas,” La Opinión (Cucutá), 21 September 2005.
[48] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2005: Colombia,” Washington DC, 8 March 2006. 
[49] “Desactivan Campo Minado en la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta,” El Heraldo (Barranquilla), 13 October 2005.
[50] “Tres militares muertos y cuatro heridos por minas en Antioquia,” EFE (Bogotá), 18 November 2005.
[51] “Desactivan 34 minas antipersonales en alrededores de escuela,” EFE (Bogotá), 2 December 2005.
[52] “Ejército destruyó minas en Abejorral,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 27 January 2006.
[53] “Mueren 11 guerrilleros en combates en Colombia,” Associated Press (Bogotá), 29 January 2006.
[54] “Colombia says child, 3 others killed by FARC mines,” Reuters (Bogotá), 20 January 2006.
[55] “Mina sembrada en carretera de Antioquia causa la muerte de un soldado y deja a dos más heridos,” Caracol Radio (Bogotá), 22 February 2006.
[56] “Destruyen 20 minas antipersona en operaciones en Antioquia, Meta y Putumayo,” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 22 February 2006.
[57] “Landmines kill 4, wound 8 in Colombia,” EFE News Service (Bogotá), 21 May 2006.
[58] “Ejército toma el control,” El Meridiano de Córdoba (Córdoba), 5 August 2005.
[59] ANE, “Desactivadas 18 minas sembradas por el Eln y las Farc,” 2 August 2005.
[60] “Minas llenan de terror caminos de Sotomayor,” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 27 December 2005.
[61] “Minas hieren a tres infantes de marina,” El Universal (Cartagena), 25 January 2006.
[62] National Police (ANNP), “Policia Nacional, deja al descubierto nuevo tipo de camuflaje de mina, desactivado campo minado,” 7 March 2006.
[63] ANE, “El Ejército Colombiano destruyó 69 minas antipersona,” 10 April 2006.
[64] “Colombia army seizes huge rightist arsenal,” EFE (Bogotá), 17 February 2006.
[65] Laura De Young, “Colombia,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.1, September 2005. Under Protocol V of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, explosive remnants of war are defined as unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned explosive ordnance (AXO). Mines are explicitly excluded from the definition. Colombia uses the term “municiones abandonadas sin explotar” (unexploded abandoned ordnance) which refers to both UXO and AXO such as caches and stockpiles of ammunitions. Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Coordinator, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[66] Data by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006; according to the Department of National Statistics, there are 1,092 municipalities as of July 2006; see www.dane.gov.co, accessed 6 July 2006.
[67] OAS Action Against Antipersonnel Mine Program (AICMA), “Portfolio 2005-2006,” p. 17.
[68] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[69] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Eventos por Minas Antipersonal (MAP)/Municiones Abandonadas sin Explotar (MUSE) 1990–01 de Junio de 2006.”
[70] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia departamental de eventos por Minas Antipersonal (MAP)/Municiones Abandonadas sin Explotar (MUSE) 1990–01 de Junio de 2006.”
[71] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Eventos por MAP/MUSE 1990 al primero de junio de 2006.”
[72] The survey refers to municipios (municipalities) as “districts.” SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report,” October 2005, pp. 5-9. The report states that the 88 percent figure should be treated with caution, a much greater variation in mine contamination between municipalities and community levels should be expected, as was the case with the Landmine Impact Survey in Afghanistan; also, the survey only covered 29 percent of the territory.
[73] Article 7 Reports, Form C, 6 May 2005 and April 2006. Of the 21 mined areas, four were under the jurisdiction of the Air Force, five under the Navy, and 12 under the Army. The 13 sites requiring verification were under Army jurisdiction. Colombia previously reported differently: in September 2004, it reported 22 minefields with a total of 2,768 mines; in August 2002, it reported a total of 9,409 emplaced landmines; in May 2002, it reported 54 minefields containing 20,000 landmines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 266.
[74] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[75] SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report,” October 2005, p. 12.
[76] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006; for details of CINAMA, see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 267.
[77] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 267.
[78] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[79] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006.
[80] “State Policy and Country Strategy Plan for integrated mine and UXO action 2004–2009,” Bogotá, 2005. For details of the Program for the Prevention of Antipersonnel Mine Accidents and Victim Assistance, see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 267.
[81] CCCM has registered the existence and functioning of departmental mine action committees in Santander, Cauca, Meta, Antioquia, Bolívar, Caldas, Nariño and Magdalena. There are some departments that include the mine issue in their general development committees.
[82] CCCM, “Regional Reports,” Bogotá, October 2005.
[83] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006.
[84] Email from Sharon Ball, Mine Action Project Officer, UNICEF Columbia, 21 July 2006.
[85] “OAS launches landmine-clearing course in Colombia,” OAS Press Release, 16 September 2005.
[86] OAS, “Taking Action Against Landmines,” www.oas.org, accessed 27 June 2006; OAS AICMA, “Portfolio 2005-2006,” p. 18.
[87] SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report,” October 2005, p. 2.
[88] Telephone interview with Simon Berger, Regional IMSMA Coordinator for Latin America, GICHD, 31 May 2006.
[89] Interviews with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006, and Geneva, 10 May 2006.
[90] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[91] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[92] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[93] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Geneva, 10 May 2006.
[94] Interview with Col. Luis Alfredo Cabrera Albomoz, Inspector Delegate of the Air Force and mine action focal point for the Ministry of Defense, Bogotá, 28 February 2006.
[95] Interview with Diego Osorio, Advisor, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006.
[96] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Protocolo de Desminado,” Bogotá, 2005.
[97] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 267.
[98] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory,  “Política de Estado y Plan Estratégico País para la Acción Intregral contras las Minas Antipersonal y Munición abandonas sin Explotar 2004-2009,” undated.
[99] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[100] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Geneva, 10 May 2006, and telephone interview, 6 July 2006.
[101] Mine Action Support Group, “MASG Newsletter-First Quarter of 2006,” Washington DC, 1 May 2006, p. 15; email from Sharon Ball, UNICEF Columbia, 21 July 2006.
[102] Eric Filippino, “Colombia: Mine Action and Armed Conflict,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 8.2, November 2004; OAS AICMA, “Portfolio 2005-2006,” p. 17.
[103] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[104] CCCM, “Comunicado #22,” Bogotá, 9 November 2005. The Observatory also provided a completion report of the clearance of Mamonal military base to CCCM, which indicates that the reason for clearance is “industrial;” see “Finalización de Estudio, Mamonal,” undated, document provided by the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory on 23 March 2006.
[105] Interview with William McDonough and Jaime Toso, OAS, Zagreb, 30 November 2005.
[106] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[107] Interview with Col. Luis Alfredo Cabrera Albomoz, Ministry of Defense, Bogotá, 28 February 2006.
[108] Article 4 of Law 759, 25 July 2002.
[109] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006.
[110] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 269.
[111] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[112] Ibid.
[113] SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report,” October 2005, p. 3.
[114] OAS AICMA “Portfolio 2005-2006,” p. 19.
[115] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[116] Interview with Diego Osorio, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006.
[117] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[118] Article 7 Reports, Form A, April 2006 and 6 May 2005.
[119] Interview with Diego Osorio, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006; “Thirty Landmine Fields to Be Destroyed in Colombia,” Washington File, 10 November 2005.
[120] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Finalización de Estudio, Mamonal,” undated.
[121] Interview with Col. Luis Alfredo Cabrera Albomoz, Ministry of Defense, Bogotá, 28 February 2006.
[122] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Emergencias por minas antipersonal reportadas al Observatorio de Minas Antipersonal de enero 2005 a noviembre 2005,” undated.
[123] Interview with Col. Luis Alfredo Cabrera Albomoz, Ministry of Defense, Bogotá, 28 February 2006.
[124] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 272.
[125] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[126] Interview with José Adolfo Bernal, CCCM coordinator in the south of Bolívar department, Medellín, 8 February 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 271.
[127] “En tres meses el ELN comenzaría el desminado humanitario en 14 veredas del municipio de Samaniego, Nariño,” El Colombiano (Medellín), 20 June 2006.
[128] Telephone interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 6 July 2006.
[129] Email from Camilo Serna, Operations Coordinator, CCCM, 7 July 2006.
[130] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006; Article 7 Report, Form C, April 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 273.
[131] “More Art, Less Mines,” document given at the launch of the Communications Strategy of the National Mine Action Program 2004-2009, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006.
[132] Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2006.
[133] Ibid.
[134] Email from Camilo Serna, CCCM, 9 July 2006.
[135] SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report,” October 2005, pp. 6, 13.
[136] Interview with Álvaro Jiménez Millán, Coordinator, CCCM, Bogotá, 22 February 2006.
[137] Email from Camilo Serna, CCCM, 9 July 2006.
[138] Email from Camilo Serna, CCCM, 7 July 2006.
[139] Article 7 Report, Form C, April 2006; interview with Sharon Ball, and Olga Lucía Zuluaga, Humanitarian Action Consultant, UNICEF Colombia, Bogotá, 23 March 2006.
[140] Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2006.
[141] Ibid.
[142] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Integrated and Coordinated Actions Against Mines,” Draft, March 2006.
[143] Mine Action Support Group, “MASG Newsletter-First Quarter of 2006,” Washington DC, 1 May 2006, p. 15.
[144] Interview with Sharon Ball and Olga Lucía Zuluaga, UNICEF Colombia, Bogotá, 23 March 2006.
[145] Interview with Olga Lucía Jiménez, Project Coordinator, Paz y Democracia, Medellín, 9 February 2006, and email, 11 July 2006.
[146] Movimento per la Pau, “Report of the Projects Executed by CCCM in Colombia,” Barcelona, January 2006.
[147] CCCM departmental monthly reports 2005 and 2006, Bogotá.
[148] CIREC, “Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia CIREC, Programa Semillas de Esperanza, Actividades 2005,” in email from Jorge Quesada Ortega, Coordinator, Semillas de Esperanza, CIREC, Bogotá, 25 May 2006.
[149] Email from Sharon Ball, UNICEF Colombia, 21 July 2006.
[150] Email from José Antonio Delgado, ICRC, Bogotá, 26 January 2006; ICRC, “ICRC Special Report–Mine Action 2006,” May 2006, p. 16.
[151] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 276.
[152] Mine Action Investments database; email from Carly Volkes, DFAIT, 7 June 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = C$1.2115. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[153] Germany Article 7 Report, Form J, 27 April 2006; Mine Action Investments database. UNICEF reported receiving $161,445 from Germany specifically for victim assistance activities; interview with Sharon Ball and Olga Lucia Zuluaga, UNICEF Columbia, Bogotá, 23 March 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: €1 = US$1.2449, used throughout this report. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[154] Email from Laura Liguori, Security Policy Unit, Conventional Disarmament, EC, 20 June 2006.
[155] Emails from Kitagawa Yasu, Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL), March-May 2006, with translated information received by JCBL from the Multilateral Cooperation Department, 11 May 2005, and Non-proliferation and Science Department, 11 April 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = ¥110.11. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 277.
[156] Email from Annette A. Landell-Mills, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 June 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = NOK6.4412. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[157] Spain Article 7 Report, Form J, 27 April 2006; email from Luis Gómez Nogueira, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, 25 April 2006; emails from Camilo Serna, CCCM, 30 June and 4 July 2006.
[158] Email from Rémy Friedmann, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 April 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = CHF1.2459. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[159] Email from Michael Moore, LSN, 29 May 2006; email from Michael Gerber, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 March 2006.
[160] Email from Zach Hudson, Program Manager, Adopt-A-Minefield, 2 June 2006.
[161] Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 276.
[162] Interview with Sharon Ball and Olga Lucia Zuluaga, UNICEF Columbia, Bogotá, 23 March 2006.
[163] Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2006, p. 38.
[164] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006.
[165] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 277.
[166] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 332; OAS, “Mine Action Program: Making the Western Hemisphere landmine-safe,” p. 6, presented at Standing Committee meetings, May 2003.
[167] “Tras la presentación de Juanes, Parlamento Europeo le donó a Colombia 2,5 millones de euros,” El Espectador (Bogotá), 20 April 2006.
[168] Telephone interview with María Sánchez Gil-Cepeda, Colombia Programme, EuropeAid, 14 June 2006. Funding was reportedly approved at the end of 2005, however it was not reported by the EC for 2005.
[169] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 276; email from H. Murphey McCloy Jr., Senior Demining Advisor, US Department of State, 28 September 2005 and 19 July 2006.
[170] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[171] Unless otherwise stated, all information in this section is taken from the Antipersonnel Mine Observatory reports dated 1990-1 June 2006, www.derechoshumanos.gov.co/minas, accessed 11 June 2006.
[172] In Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 277-278, it was reported that 863 casualties were recorded. As of June 2006, this number had increased to 822 casualties recorded in 2004. Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Victimas segun estado de eventos MAP/MUSE (Victims according to condition for landmine/UXO events),” www.derechoshumanos.gov.co/minas, accessed 11 June 2006.
[173] Based on Landmine Monitor interviews with health workers, displaced persons and others in mine-affected areas during May 2005 and November 2005.
[174] Email from Dominique Delvigne, Country Director, HI Colombia, 14 June 2006.
[175] Email from Alvaro Jiménez Millán, CCCM, 27 June 2006.
[176] Information provided to Guillermo Gil Sayer, Coordinator, CCCM Santander, by the Army Second Division, Bucaramanga, 16 June 2005.
[177] Email from Alvaro Jiménez Millán, CCCM, 27 June 2006.
[178] Ibid; email from Charlie Avendaño, Regional Researcher, Landmine Monitor, 26 June 2006.
[179] “Un campesino murió por explosión de campo minado de la guerrilla en Vistahermosa (One peasant died from in explosion in guerrilla minefield in Vistahermosa),” El Tiempo (Meta), 20 January 2006.
[180] “Víctima de una mina antipersona, murió erradicador en el Parque de La Macarena (Victim of an antipersonnel mine, an erradicator died in La Macarena Park”),” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 29 March 2006.
[181] “FARC usan minas antipersona para proteger narcotráfico (FARC using antipersonnel mines to protect narco traffic),” SNE (Bogotá), 21 April 2006.
[182] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, “Victim Assistance objectives of the States Parties that have the responsibility for significant number of landmine survivors,” Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, pp. 128-129. For example, the Observatory reported in May 2006 that there had been 1,097 new mine and UXO casualties in 2005. In June 2006, the figure had increased to 1,110 new casualties in 2005.
[183] Interview with Zoraida Delgado, Victim Assistance and Mine Risk Education Coordinator, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006; Article 7, Form J, April 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 278.
[184] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2006.
[185] Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, “Frecuencia departamental de victimas 1990-01 May 2006 (Frequency of victims by departments 1990-01 May 2006),” www.derechoshumanos.gov.co, accessed 18 May 2006.
[186] Information provided by several victim assistance actors in Colombia in May 2005, November 2005 and April-June 2006.
[187] Email from Alvaro Jiménez Millán, CCCM, 27 June 2006; email from Charlie Avendaño, Landmine Monitor, 26 June 2006.
[188] SAC, “Preliminary Opinion Collection, Final Report Colombia,” October 2005, pp. 10-12.
[189] UN, “Final Report, First Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” Nairobi, 28 November-2 December 2004, APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9 February 2005, p. 33.
[190] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, pp. 128-134.
[191] Presentation by Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 9 May 2006.
[192] Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2006.
[193] Information provided by several victim assistance actors in Colombia in May 2005, November 2005 and April-June 2006.
[194] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 129.
[195] Interview with Zoraida Delgado, Antipersonnel Mines Observatory, Bogotá, 16 February 2006.
[196] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, pp. 129-131.
[197] Ibid.
[198] Observations made by Landmine Monitor during visits to rural areas of Cauca, Antioquia, and Santander departments, May and November 2005.
[199] Information provided by several victim assistance actors in Colombia in May 2005, November 2005 and April-June 2006.
[200] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 130.
[201] Ministry of Social Protection, “Decreto borrador: Por el cual se reglamenta parcialmente el funcionamiento de la Subcuenta del seguro de Riesgos Catastróficos y Accidentes de Tránsito del Fondo de Solidaridad y Garantía, Fosyga” (“Draft Decree: Through which the functioning of the sub account of Catastrophic Risk and Car Accidents of the Solidarity and Guarantee Fund, FOSYGA, is regulated”), provided by Antipersonnel Mines Observatory to CCCM, Bogotá, 5 June 2006.
[202] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 130.
[203] Observations made by Landmine Monitor during visits to rural areas of Cauca, Antioquia, and Santander departments, May 2005.
[204] Email from from Alvaro Jiménez Millán, CCCM, 27 June 2006; email from Charlie Avendaño, Landmine Monitor, 26 June 2006.
[205] Information provided to Landmine Monitor by several victim assistance actors in Colombia in May 2005, November 2005 and April-June 2006.
[206] CCCM, “Una tarea que no da tregua (A task without respite),” Bogotá, December 2005; Landmine Monitor interview with Belkis Angulo Brion, Deputy Director of the Physical and Rehabilitation Unit, University of Hospital of the Valley, Cali, Valle del Cauca, 8 March 2006.
[207] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 335.
[208] Information provided to Landmine Monitor by several victim assistance actors in Colombia in May 2005, November 2005 and April-June 2006.
[209] Interview with Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, Bogotá, 2 March 2006.
[210] ICRC, “Annual Report 2005,” Geneva, June 2006, p. 264.
[211] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, pp. 131-132.
[212] Ibid, p. 132.
[213] “Efectos sicológicos del conflicto armado son los peores problemas de salud pública que afronta Colombia (Psychological effect of armed conflict is the worst health problem faced by Colombia),” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 27 April 2006.
[214] Interview with Sharon Ball and Olga Lucia Zuluaga, UNICEF Columbia, Bogotá, 23 March 2006.
[215] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 133.
[216] “El 93 por ciento de los discapacitados de Bogotá carecen de educación (93 percent of persons with disabilities in Bogotá do not receive education),” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 18 May 2006.
[217] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 335.
[218] Email from Jorge Quesada, Coordinator, Semillas de Esperanza, CIREC, Bogotá, 25 May 2006.
[219] Ibid.
[220] Interview with Belkis Angulo Brion, University of Hospital of the Valley, Cali, Valle del Cauca, 8 March 2006.
[221] “Alternativa para discapacitados,” La Opinión (Cúcuta), 19 November 2005.
[222] Email from Paula Bernal Blanco, Victim Assistance Coordinator, CCCM, Bogotá, 26 May 2006.
[223] Email from Guillermo Gil Sayer, CCCM Santander, Bogotá, 23 May 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 281.
[224] Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2006, p. 113.
[225] Interview with José Antonio Delgado, ICRC, Bogotá, 25 January 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 283.
[226] Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2006.
[227] Movimento per la Pau, “Movimento Per la Pau Project Overview in Colombia,” Project AVCO 1 (01-10-04 – 30-09-05), Barcelona, January 2006.
[228] Email from Camilo Serna, CCCM, 16 June 2006.
[229] Movimento per la Pau, “Movimento Per la Pau Project Overview in Colombia,” Project AVCO 2 (01-04 -05 – 31-03-06), Barcelona, January 2006.
[230] Email from Paula Bernal, CCCM, 17 February 2006.
[231] CCCM, “Informe de actividades del proyecto e fortalecimiento de las acciones de la sociedad civil agrupada en la Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (Report of the project to strengthen civil society actions done by the Colombian Campaign Against Landmines),” Bogotá, 1 February 2006.
[232] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 283.
[233] Emails from Dominique Delvigne, HI Colombia, 21 and 28 June 2006.
[234] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 283.
[235] Mine Action Support Group, “MASG Newsletter-First Quarter of 2006,” Washington DC, 1 May 2006, p. 15.
[236] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 283.
[237] Email from Luz Piedad Herrera, Antipersonnel Mine Observatory, 16 May 2006.
[238] UFC, “Nuestros Proyectos (Our Projects),” www.unitedforcolombia.org, accessed 8 June 2006.
[239] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 337.
[240] “Final Report of the Meeting of States Parties / Zagreb Progress Report,” Part II, Annex V, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005, p. 134; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 284.