Landmines in Colombia
In March Martha Llano wrote about landmines in Colombia. This caught my attention immediately, as I heard there was a speaker at Concordia last week talking about the same issue. I’ve known landmines still remain underground in areas that were once war-ridden, but I didn’t know just how big of a problem it posed for certain groups of people. When I think of landmines I don’t connect that to places were people are actually living.
Martha brought insight into where the landmines are located (80% of the land is rural), statistics on how many adults and children are killed by them, and the rate in which people are getting killed (it went up from 17% of children to 21%). She also put into perspective that as one reads this article, it’s possible that a landmine has most likely struck three people. The rates in which Colombians are being injured and killed are staggering; it’s not something that I would ever have imagined.
This article caught my attention even more when she started describing intimate detailed stories of landmine accidents. There are boys being killed and greatly injured while playing in fields and chasing cows. Girls are walking along a roadside when they step on a landmine, losing a limb, and then losing their life. Mothers and families are losing children as they walk to and from school. Martha sees this as unfair; and really it is. Part of personal freedom is being able to walk around freely and without the worry of harm, but landmines are making this difficult.
I really wonder how much is being done to help these people that live in areas that have this kind of threat to their well-being. The author of this article notes some NGOs that are trying to make an effort, but there’s a great need for money to actually get something going to help remove the landmines. Organizations all over the world are drawing in thousands or even millions of dollars, but it’s not going towards something like this. There shouldn’t be such an existing inequality in how people are able to live their lives. It’s not fair to let a group of people be subjected to such dangerous conditions, with no ability of their own to get rid of the landmines.
This is yet another reason that WorldPulse is such a great idea; it’s helping to gain attention for issues that people don’t often have to think about. Living where I do I would never put any thought into walking over a landmine. All of the places I travel around my city, I would never have to worry about being cautious where I choose to walk. Those things don’t cross my mind, but they do for the Colombians discussed in this article. I have to agree that this is incredibly unfair. I now wish I could have gone to Concordia to listen to their speaker, as this does greatly interest me. Quite frankly, it angers me that people have to endure this situation, one that they can’t actively fight against in their day to day lives. I can’t imagine fearing landmines. I look forward to reading more about this, and learning what can be done to make changes.