John RosenbergNovember 4, 2013 00:00
Commentary: International support is essential for clearing millions of mines that continue to kill and maim.
Colombian soldier Deiber Arredondo, victim of a landmine, rides on horseback during a horse therapy rehabilitation session supported by the Walk Hero Foundation ('Fundacion Heroe Camina,' in Spanish), in Medellin on June 15, 2012. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)
BOGOTA, Colombia — Last year, a Colombian court effectively halted landmine removal in this nation with the onerous distinction of having the second largest number of landmine victims in the world. The court declared that the program violated the human rights of individuals hired to dig up the mines. The ruling was as absurd as if a court had stripped police officers and firefighters of their responsibilities because theirs was dangerous work. Colombia finally lifted this outrageous decree only last month and now has begun the long overdue task of clearing the untold millions of mines and other unexploded ordinance scattered across South America’s fourth largest country.