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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Latin America


To Walk the Earth in Safety (2008)
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
June 2008
Report
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Argentina

Flag of Argentina is three equal horizontal bands of light blue at top, white, and light blue; centered in the white band is a radiant yellow sun with a human face known as the Sun of May.In FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $38,000 to advance Argentina’s capacity to conduct humanitarian mine action in other countries during international peace-keeping deployments and to train international deminers. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Chile

Flag of Chile is two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; there is a blue square the same height as the white band at the hoist-side end of the white band; the square bears a white five-pointed star in the center representing a guide to progress and honor; blue symbolizes the sky, white is for the snow-covered Andes, and red stands for the blood spilled to achieve independence.In FY 2006, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs granted $300,000 to the Organization of American States to provide demining equipment for humanitarian purposes to the Chilean Army to clear landmines it had emplaced in some of its border regions.

In FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed about $280,000 to advance humanitarian mine action in Chile. In FY 2007, the Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program provided the Chilean National Demining Commission with a Multi-Tooled Excavator and an Air-Spade demining digging tool for an area preparation and mine clearance operational field evaluation. The technologies represent a $250,000 investment to augment Chilean mine clearance activities. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Colombia

Flag of Colombia is three horizontal bands of double-width yellow at top, blue, and red.

Many children who are survivors of landmines spend time in Hogar Refugio San Bernabé, waiting for medical attention. During Halloween, they can play on the streets just like other kids. [MediaQuatro]
Many children who are survivors of landmines spend time in Hogar Refugio San Bernabé, waiting for medical attention. During Halloween, they can play on the streets just like other kids. [MediaQuatro]
In FY 2006 the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs provided $300,000 to the Organization of American States (OAS) for the development of an emergency, rapid-response humanitarian demining operational clearance team in Colombia, which deals with the landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are being used by terrorists and narcotics traffickers.

In FY 2007 PM/WRA provided $750,000 to the OAS for the development of a second emergency rapid response humanitarian demining operational clearance team in Colombia. Additional support funded local nongovernmental organization Centro Integral de Rehabilitación de Colombia’s Mobile Brigades, which provide medical assistance to mine survivors and other civilians in remote rural sections of Colombia.

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund rendered a total of $2 million in assistance to survivors of conflict-related injuries and illnesses in Colombia during 2007. To learn more about the Leahy War Victims Fund, visit www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf.

In FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $640,000 to strengthen Colombia’s national humanitarian mine action capacity via training, to support its clearance of mines and IEDs, and to support mine survivors assistance. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Ecuador

Safe lane in Soldato Monge, Ecuador. [Gabriela Parra Martínez]
Safe lane in Soldato Monge, Ecuador. [Gabriela Parra Martínez]
Flag of Ecuador is three horizontal bands of yellow - at top, double width - blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at center of flag.In FY 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program contributed $313,000 to support humanitarian mine action in Ecuador. In FY 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program provided the National Demining Center of Ecuador with a $250,000 Tempest remote-controlled vegetation clearance system. The Tempest is assisting manual deminers by opening breach lanes in dense jungle. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

Honduras

Flag of Honduras is three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with five blue, five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America -- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.In FY 2006 the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs awarded a $315,682 contract to DynCorp International to destroy small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) and munitions that the Honduran government had determined were excess to its national security needs. DynCorp destroyed 13,680 SA/LW and ancillary equipment, 2,982 antipersonnel landmines, and 840 110-pound aerial bombs. The project was completed in 2007.

Nicaragua

Flag of Nicaragua is three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on the top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom.Internal conflict from 1979–1990 resulted in landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) affecting Nicaragua. In FY 2006 the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of

A Mantis, which is a modified, armored John Deere tractor with special attachments used for demining. [U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Research & Development Program]
A Mantis, which is a modified, armored John Deere tractor with special attachments used for demining. [U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Demining Research & Development Program]
State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs awarded two grants to the Organization of American States (OAS). The first grant, totaling $1,456,925, went toward humanitarian demining operational clearance for the Front Five region in Nicaragua, which was a continuation of the effort to support earlier mine removal activities there. OAS’ second grant from PM/WRA was for $283,075 to support mine survivors assistance and provide new opportunities for landmine survivors’ full participation in the social and economic life of their communities.

In FY 2007 PM/WRA awarded two grants to the OAS. The first grant, totaling $1.2 million, continued the humanitarian demining operational clearance for the Front Five region in Nicaragua. OAS’ second grant from PM/WRA of $500,000 supported mine survivors assistance and provided new economic opportunities for landmine survivors.

In FY 2006 and FY 2007, the Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development Program in partnership with the Nicaraguan Army continued an evaluation of the Mantis mechanical system. The Mantis, a modified farm tractor with specialized attachments, represents a $367,000 investment in Nicaragua’s vegetation removal, area preparation, and mine clearance activities. The Mantis worked in tandem with other mechanical assets of the Nicaraguan Army, providing a quality assurance process to allow cleared land to be returned to communities for agricultural use. The Mantis cleared 250,000 square meters of land, removed more than 5,000 pounds of metallic clutter, and removed or detonated nine anti-personnel mines in areas that were believed previously cleared of mines. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Demining Program, visit www.humanitariandemining.org and www.wood.army.mil/hdtc.

A Nicaraguan landmine survivor displays his prosthetic limb to a rapt audience of schoolchildren during a mine risk education session funded in part by PM/WRA. [Ed Trimakas, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
A Nicaraguan landmine survivor displays his prosthetic limb to...
A Nicaraguan landmine survivor displays his prosthetic limb to a rapt audience of schoolchildren during a mine risk education session funded in part by PM/WRA. [Ed Trimakas, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]
...a rapt audience of schoolchildren during a mine risk education session funded in part by PM/WRA.
[Ed Trimakas, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement]

Suriname

Flag of Suriname is five horizontal bands of green - top, double width; white; red - quadruple width; white; and green - double width; a large, yellow, five-pointed star is centered in red band.During FY 2006 and FY 2007, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs awarded $459,000 to RONCO Consulting Corporation to destroy excess ammunition in Suriname that its government had deemed to be excess to national security needs. This project destroyed 95,346 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition ranging from 37-to 100-millimeter, and 3,210,175 rounds of 50-caliber ammunition.



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