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Wed Nov 12, 2014, 07:26 PM

Unexploded Mines on the Chilean Border

Unexploded Mines on the Chilean Border

November 12 2014 18:34

Mines which were planted by the government of Pinochet in 1980, and have still not been removed, have unexpectedly blown up 177 times over the years. This has taken the lives of 29 people, with a Peruvian citizen dying in 2012 and a Columbian recently losing his right leg.

CHILEAN BORDER — In 1980 mines were planted along Chile’s border. This was done under the orders of Pinochet amidst disputes with Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The dictatorship installed around 180,000 explosive devices along the Chilean border.

To date, these landmines have taken the lives of 29 people, and affected around 177 people. Last year a Peruvian citizen who tried to jump over the border lost his life, and this year a Colombian lost his right leg in a similar incident.

In February earlier this year Chilean Army nurse Abelino Paicil, along with his supervisor Major Alejandro Perez, was scrutinizing the situation as soldiers worked to remove the landmines. An officer had to monitor the wind levels because if they exceeded the speed of 70 km/hr it was not safe to continue the work.

In 2001 the Chilean government promised to remove the mines by 2012 but now they have extended the deadline to 2020. Perez also commented that there are still around 100,000 mines lying undiscovered along the Chilean border.


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