The HALO Trust was founded in 1988 in response to the global humanitarian catastrophe caused by landmines. The problem was particularly acute in Afghanistan where thousands of civilians were being killed or injured by landmines and their presence was preventing the return of tens of thousands of refugees. So, it is a great honour to have the Director of the Halo Trust in Colombia, Ash Boddy, on Colombia Calling to speak about their work here.
For more than five decades, illegal armed groups in Colombia have engaged in conflict with the government. Improvised explosive devices or IEDs, (classified as landmines in Colombia) have been laid throughout rural areas, devastating local communities. For years, according to Landmine Monitor, Colombia was ranked as the country with the second number of landmine victims in the world. According to the National Authority, there have been over 11,600 mine and UXO victims in Colombia since 1990, were 39% correspond to civilians.
Boddy walks us through the projects currently underway in Colombia and how the Halo Trust works. By January 2019, HALO Colombia had cleared a total of 178 minefields (815.399m2), safely destroying more than 600 mines in the process. Additionally, through non-technical survey (NTS) HALO team have reported 876 veredas as landmine free. Together these activities have benefited more than 18,000 people.
The most affected regions in Colombia due to landmines are Antioquia, Meta, Valle, Cauca, Narino and Putumayo.
Tune in to find out more about the Halo Trust and their work in Colombia
Direct download: RCC_271.mp3
-- posted at: 10:30am EST