Luis Ángel Perdomo, Mayor of the Kwet Wala Indigenous Reserve
MORE THAN 12,000M2 DECLARED LANDMINE FREE IN THE KWET WALA INDIGENOUS RESERVE
Until HALO began work in the Kwet Wala Indigenous Reserve, the community were afraid to walk through the hills surrounding their village in the Valle del Cauca department of Colombia. During Colombia’s years of conflict, armed guerrilla groups hid improvised explosive devices across rural areas, leaving a potentially fatal legacy behind and preventing communities like those of Kwet Wala from using their land freely.
But, thanks to support from the governments of the Netherlands, Canada and the United States, HALO has spent six months clearing two minefields in the reserve. This week, at an event hosted by HALO and attended by the High Commissioner for Peace and the new Director of the Colombian Humanitarian Demining National Authority, Miguel Ceballos, the land was officially declared free of landmines. The community will now be able to live without fear and enjoy their land according to their customs.
Miguel Ceballos, High Commissioner for Peace
Jeroen Roodenburg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Craig Kowalik, Head of Cooperation of the Embassy of Canada