04 April 2024

Colombia: Mine action, an essential step to consolidate peace

On International Mine Awareness Day, we share the stories of Josué and Maribel, two adolescents who survived a landmine accident in Tumaco, South of Colombia, and who became an example of courage and resilience. They are also an example of everything we still need to do to ensure that these devices do not continue to generate new victims in…, "That's what it's all about, you have to keep on playing": Josué, 17 years old, Jose is walking down a ramp On 16 December 2022, Josué's life changed when he stepped on an antipersonnel mine with his left leg. It was December 16, 2022. Six days earlier, on December 10, Josué had turned 16. The cocoa plants were ready to be harvested in Santo Domingo El Progreso, a village in Tumaco, Nariño, very close to the border with…, "In the beginning I wanted to quit studying." , Josue raises his hand during class Josue's accident did not cause him to drop out of school and he only missed a month of classes. Since Josué's accident was in December, part of his recovery time was during the end-of-year vacations. Unlike other cases, the accident did not cause him to drop out of school and he only missed a month of classes…, "My dream is to become a lawyer to fight against injustice”: Maribel, 17 years old, Maribel walks on the beach Maribel, on the beaches of Tumaco, a city on the South Pacific coast of Colombia. She presents herself gracefully. "I am Maribel, I am 17 years old, I live in Tumaco and I am a happy person who’s constantly laughing. I see the bright side of life: as long as there is life, you have something to go on.  If you breathe,…, Stand up, recover dreams and insist on them , Maribel's father is holding her steady while she puts on her prosthesis Fredy, her father, accompanies and supports Maribel. Not only did he carry her out after the accident and give her first aid, forgetting his own wounds, with shrapnel from the explosion, but he accompanied her during her stay in Pasto and continues to be by her side, like all…