2016 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Colombia

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Colombia
Funding FY13 FY14 FY15 FY01–15 TOTAL
DOS NADR - CWD 4,100 6,465 3,500 26,560
CDC 0 0 0 450
DoD 0 0 0 1,679
USAID 1,900 1,300 2,000 14,600
Country Total 6,000 7,765 5,500 43,289
Dollars in thousands

Fifty years of conflict between the government of Colombia and the FARC, Colombia’s largest guerrilla movement, has resulted in widespread mine and UXO contamination. Colombia has recorded more than 11,000 mine and UXO incidents since 1990, second only to Afghanistan. The worst contamination is believed to be concentrated in the departments of Antioquia, Meta, Norte de Santander, and Tolima, although the true magnitude remains unknown. The most tangible sign of cooperation between the negotiating parties occurred in March 2015 when Joint Communiqué 52 created a joint demining project between the government of Colombia and the FARC under NPA’s coordination, marking the first instance that representatives from the government and guerrilla movement worked together. Work has been completed in El Orejon in the Antioquia region and a second location in the Meta Department.

Date: 2016 Description: HALO conducts a non-technical survey in Colombia. Non-technical surveys are often the starting point for assessing and categorizing land as suspected or confirmed hazardous areas. © Photo courtesy of HALO.

In 2015, the National Mine Action Coordination Center received reports of 222 incidents involving mines, IEDs, and UXO. Although the number of recorded incidents remains high, U.S. support has contributed to a steady decline in the annual number of landmine and UXO casualties. U.S. assistance facilitated the establishment of three new military humanitarian demining platoons by procuring equipment and supplies.

From 2001 through 2015, the United States invested more than $43.2 million to support conventional weapons destruction in Colombia, including clearance, risk education, and survivor assistance programs.

From October 2014 through December 2015, the Department of State supported the following implementing partners:

• HALO continued demining in Southeast Antioquia and planning for expansion into Meta with non-technical survey teams.

• NPA coordinated the joint government of Colombia/ FARC demining projects, an unprecedented trust-building effort between the negotiating parties.

• OAS continued supporting the military humanitarian demining units and conducted quality assurance and quality control verifications over both civilian and military operations.

USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund contributed funds to World Vision and Archangels Foundation in Colombia to support training for rehabilitation service personnel. Funding also provided economic empowerment, assistive technology delivery, and medical and physical rehabilitation for people with disabilities.