Page 49 - 2019 Sustainability Report
P. 49

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Demining Putumayo
The demining process requires careful execution, deploying teams of deminers working five days a week. Because of the team’s careful training and expertise, there have been no injuries during this work.
The first step is establishing a connection and a joint plan with the community, so the team can bring equipment into the field and identify any mines in the area.
A technical team then goes into the region with the full blessing of the community to mark the areas for inspection.
Mine detecting tools are then used to detect and mark the precise location of any metal object up to several feet below the surface. The vegetation is cleared, allowing for excavation and disarmament to be completed by highly trained munitions experts.
      “Since we had a conflict for over 50 years, we got used to having places where we could and couldn’t go because of the mines, but children are curious and sometimes they don’t pay attention. It is really good to be able to walk freely now.”
Jonathan Rodriguez,
Community Leader, Vereda Buenos Aires
Maria Fanny Ortiz, a landmine victim, has been hired to help with the crude oil cleanup effort. Her story highlights how the presence of mines continues to affect people in the area:
“Eight years ago, I was taking a break from harvesting rice on
my farm when my sister’s cow wandered into a different area.
I went over to bring the cow out of
the area so it wouldn’t trample the rice, and when I picked up a stick to swat it – BOOM! That’s when I stepped on the mine. My ears were ringing, and I had severe pain in my leg and foot. I was alone and in shock but actually tried to go back to work after a few minutes. Of course, I couldn’t work because of the pain and eventually was taken to the hospital. I still have trouble working due to ongoing headaches, and the pain in my foot makes it hard to walk at times. The demining campaign has been very supportive, inviting me to participate in their program, which has been very helpful. Since the accident, I prefer to walk on the streets, and
I don’t go back to the farm. Now GTE and Contra Minas are trying to
clear the mines from that area, which is appreciated.”
Maria Fanny Ortiz, Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas, landmine victim, Nuevo Porvenir

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