PBI-Colombia accompanies the Justice and Peace Commission in Murindó, Antioquia as anti-personnel mines threaten Indigenous communities

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Photo from Organización Indígena de Antioquia (OIA).

On August 9, PBI-Colombia posted: “During the weekend we accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission in Murindó in the Bajo Atrato in the framework of meetings on the worrying issue of anti-personnel mines in the area due to the sharpening of the conflict.”

On July 18, El Tiempo reported: Indigenous people in Murindó besieged by antipersonnel mines.

That article notes: “When Remilda Benítez Domicó was traveling through the territory to carry out her activities as a pan-harvesting agent, she activated one of the many antipersonnel mines that are found on an ancestral road in the municipality of Murindó, in Antioquia’s Urabá. She was carrying her youngest daughter – 2 years old – in her arms when the device exploded. Her child suffered minor injuries, but she survived. However, Remilda died at the scene on Sunday, June 20. She was 22 years old and belonged to the Eyábida Embera people, from the Bachidubi community, in the Río Murindó reservation. Remilda left five children, a husband and a frightened population in her territory.”

El Espectador adds: “According to the Indigenous Organization of Antioquia (OIA), these devices are a constant threat to the indigenous people of this region of the country, since at the moment there are 10 communities in the Atrato Medio with the presence of these artifacts.”

“The organization again called on the armed groups not to involve indigenous communities in the war. They also rejected the implantation of antipersonnel mines that since 2020 has left nine indigenous people dead in Antioquia, including four minors.”

The armed groups are reportedly the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerillas and the Clan del Golfo paramilitary.

The article also notes: “As of December 31, 2020, Descontamina Colombia, of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, recorded a total of 165 victims of antipersonnel mines throughout the country.”

And Telesur reports: “Due to threats from illegal armed groups and the reseeding of antipersonnel mines, eleven indigenous communities [including Murindó] are at risk in Antioquia.”

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission since 1994.

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