first published on March 24, 2016 by Will
A Colombian soldier was seriously wounded after he stepped on a landmine. His squad comes to his assistance. As they attempt an evacuation, they detonate another well-hidden mine.
Although the video cuts out before we can assess the damage, it would be safe to assume that there were multiple additional casualties sustained in the event. Landmines are horrific tools of war. They do not discriminate, and they seldom kill, but rather, horribly maim their unsuspecting victims.
Behind Afghanistan, Colombia has the second highest number of landmine injuries and deaths, with more than 11,500 casualties since 1990. The communist FARC guerrilla group emplaced tens of thousands of explosive booby traps across the country over the past several decades.
However, since a peace deal between the government and the leftist militant group last year, the Colombian government has set a goal of clearing the entire country of landmines by the year 2021. However, the mountainous jungle terrain will make the endeavor extremely difficult.
Many of the booby traps are created from an extremely improvised nature. The militants filled glass liquor bottles, tin food cans, and plastic tubes with sulphuric acid, making them almost impossible to differentiate between life-threatening devices and the ubiquitous pieces of trash lying about.
Many of the newly appeased FARC rebels have agreed to help identify and neutralize the hidden mines, but being as most of them were emplaced over the course of several decades, the majority of the booby-trapped locations have been long forgotten and will continue to pose a risk to unsuspecting civilians for years to come.