"A bridge between death and life”
(LWI) - "A land mine is the most effective soldier that can be found in our country - it doesn't sleep, it doesn't eat and it never stops being dangerous." This phrase was heard several times at a meeting of mine survivors in Arauca, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela. The meeting organized at the end of last year was part of a joint project between the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM). LWF and FELM in Colombia collaborate to prevent mine accidents and support those who survive them.
Invisible time bombs
Land mines in Colombia are the legacy of more than 50 years of civil war. Although Colombia has ratified the Ottawa Convention that bans anti-personnel mines, the number of mines in Colombia is increasing. Military groups (which were not part of the peace deal in 2016 between the Colombian government and the FARC) continue to use them in their fight over drug supply routes and territory.
"The 2016 peace agreement was supposed to reduce the number of landmines, but new armed forces have been created after the peace agreement to fight for the occupation of territories, and more landmines are being found every year," says Lorena Acevedo, LWF Colombia’s director of operations for the provinces of Arauca and Casanare.