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CHF Colombia Recognizes Mine Awareness Day

Published 04/05/2011 by Global Communities

CHF Colombia- International Mine Awareness Day
On April 8th, the Ovejas, San Onofre, El Carmen de Bolivar and San Jacinto Bolivar communities in the Montes de Maria region of Colombia will come together in recognition of International Mine Awareness Day. This day, begun by the United Nations in 2005, will take place in El Carmen De Bolivar to denounce the indiscriminate use of mines and raise awareness of the threat that they represent to community members. With the theme, “For One Day, Be In Our Shoes!” the mayors of the four municipalities, the National Guard, and the staff of the USAID-funded, CHF implemented Colombia Responde initiative will come together to educate the population of Montes de Maria about this danger.
After Afghanistan, Colombia has the highest number of recently wounded mines victims in the world: in 2010 alone 482 people fell victim. Between 1990 and February 2011, 9103 people fell victim to this scourge, including 870 minors, 3408 civilians and 5695 members of the military. Since February 2011, a further 71 people have been wounded by mines.
The campaign in Montes de Maria will raise awareness of the issue, serving as a jumping off point for future prevention campaigns about the problem. The campaign is a call to action, creating a conscience that later will turn into action.
The event will last all day and we hope that all Colombians, parents, children, brothers, friends, will come together to demonstrate to the world that as Colombians, the problem of anti-personnel mines affects us all and we reject the indiscriminate use of these weapons by illegal arms groups.
On April 4th, an event in Plaza Bolivar was presided over by Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon, who accompanied survivors representing both civilians and the military. He unveiled a commemorative installation created out of 9,000 shoes. Each shoe represents each one of the registered victims since 1990, containing their municipality, department, gender and civilian or military status according to the PAICMA statistics.