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.
According to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), as of December 2017, Colombia had 6,509,000 IDPs, occupying the second place worldwide.
Landmines continue to have a huge effect on the civilian population, causing physical harm, preventing IDP return, land restitution, development projects, farming, agriculture, and affecting livelihoods.
HALO set up an office in Colombia in 2009 and began clearance operations in September 2013. We are currently operating in Antioquia (the department with the highest number of mine victims), Meta, Tolima, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Nariño and Putumayo.
By September 2018, HALO Colombia had cleared a total of 158 minefields (744.796m2), safely destroying more than 550 mines in the process. Additionally, HALO’s survey teams (NTS) have cancelled 640 suspected hazardous areas from the national database, which can now be declared safe for use. Together these activities have benefited more than 14,600 people.
Thanks are given for the generous support from our donors – the Governments of the United States and Canada, Grupo Energía de Bogotá, Irish Aid, the Governments of Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Government of the United Kingdom and the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund, amongst others.