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Colombia has the second highest number of victims of anti-personnel landmines in the world - more than 11,100 in 25 years. According to Handicap International, 80% of the survivors of armed violence suffer from a disability.
Colombia is strongly impacted by armed violence as a result of a conflict that has already lasted for over 50 years. 31 of its 32 departments are contaminated by mines, making Colombia the second most mined country in the world after Afghanistan. Since 1990, the use of improvised explosive devices has become systematic.
Nearly half of casualties are civilians who live in the remotest and the most deprived areas in terms of health structures and rehabilitation care. And 26% of them are children, who are particularly vulnerable. These accidents have serious consequences for casualties, including death, injury, long-term disabilities and psychological trauma.
Although the country is also ravaged by drug trafficking and delinquency, and violence associated with gold mining, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary armed forces of Colombia (FARC) signed an historic peace agreement on 26th September 2016. Handicap International, accredited in July 2016 as one of the country’s four official humanitarian demining actors, is preparing to launch a five-year demining operation in six of the most contaminated departments: Antioquia, Cauca, Caquetá, Córdoba, Nariño and Meta.