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Woman platoon contributes to demining mission in Colombia

Woman platoon contributes to demining mission in Colombia

The chopper means urgency.
The yellow line means danger.
The tent means responsibility.
From October, the squad of 16 women in the National Army of Colombia will start out from Bogota to join the demining mission in the Andean country.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Jessica Alejandra Molina Figueroa, Squad Leader
“The female group of humanitarian demining consists of 16 staffers, including six responsible for collecting information from each of the villages and towns victimized or subjected to planted mines. The other 10 are responsible for demining execution in areas where information is already collected and danger confirmed.”

This batch of women are selected for the most dangerous and important work in post-conflict Colombia, because they are more careful, if not more daring than their male colleagues.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Jessica Alejandra Molina Figueroa, Squad Leader
“There is surely a fear of confronting this task. However, thanks to the training we have received as leaders or soldiers of the demining mission, there will be no error. There is a fear on the face, but since it is done with patience and tranquility, the feared things can’t happen.”

The 16 female deminers are part of the 2,500-member Brigade of Engineers for Humanitarian Demining, which was established earlier this year to tackle the nationwide scourge.
The whole brigade will expand to 10,000 members by the end of 2017.

(Soundbite, Spanish) Jessica Alejandra Molina Figueroa, Squad Leader
“At first I was afraid, but soon realized that I will not be left alone at any time, as the army and my strength are with me. They know the record of my work. The Humanitarian Demining mission is guaranteed with internal monitoring and external monitoring. They do not forgive a single mistake in training or operations.”

More than five decades of armed conflicts have left uncountable mines or unexploded ordnances on thousands of hectares of land in Colombia.
According to official figures, from 1990 to 2016, a total of 2,140 people were killed and 8,660 injured over the curse from underground.
The government has declared that the country will be Free from landmines and unexploded ordnance in 2020.

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