Colombia granted more time to remove landmines from territory

Colombia has been granted a more than four-year extension under the Ottawa Treaty for removing landmines from across the country, the High Peace Commissioner’s office said on November 20. The deadline for removing mines from Colombia was set to be March 1, 2021, but Colombia had asked for an extension until December 31, 2025.

The reason for the extension is to buy more time to finish active de-mining operations. High Peace Commissioner Miguel Ceballos stated, “This corresponds to the de-mining of more than 3.6-million square yards located in confirmed dangerous areas.”

The Ottawa Treaty, of which Colombia and 163 other countries are parties, forbids the manufacture, storage and use of landmines. The United States is not a party to the treaty since rejection by the George W. Bush administration in 2004.

Colombia was once among the countries where people suffered the most injuries from landmines, a result of more than five decades of armed conflict between leftist guerrillas, crime gangs, right-wing paramilitary groups, and the government. More than 700 of Colombia's 1,122 municipalities once had landmines, but 407 of those have been declared free from mines.

– PeaceMeal, November/December 2020

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)