Santos announces the creation of the second demining brigade in Colombia

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos gestures during a meeting with Brazilian counterpart Michel Temer at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, announced on Wednesday the creation of the second demining brigade, which will make it possible to move faster in order to rid the country of antipersonnel mines in 2021.

Santos declared 37 municipalities as free of suspicion of mines, in the framework of the celebration of the World Day against Antipersonnel Mines.

“We have the largest brigade in the world in the matter of eradication of antipersonnel mines, that brigade has 7 battalions; Today we are going to create a new brigade, “explained the head of state in the southern town of Inírida.

He maintained that he will “move some of these new battalions and create one more to have two brigades in the fight against antipersonnel mines.”

He pointed out that “there is not a single country that has the institutionality within its military forces to clear its territory of mines like Colombia has, with its Military Forces, with its brigade, and now two brigades of the fight against the mines.”

In turn, the commander of the Armed Forces, General Alberto Mejía, explained that this brigade will have four Army battalions; a new one that will be activated in the coming months, and will also be composed, supported by one more battalion of the Marine Corps, “the senior official said.

The military chief indicated that each of these brigades will be equipped with state-of-the-art tools to meet the risky task and in this way “we have the best men, the best selected, the best doctrine, the international certification”.

General Mejía said that thanks to the support of both the Government and the international community it has been possible to create the best team with world-class units to serve the country.

“These two brigades will allow Colombia to advance faster and more powerfully to achieve the demining goal in 2021,” General Mejía said.

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