According to reports, at least 180 people were killed throughout Colombia by landmines between January 1, and December 4, representing a 300 percent increase over the number of deaths caused by landmines reported over the same period in 2017. The most affected areas include Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caquetá, Cauca, Chocó, Guaviare, Meta, Nariño, and Norte de Santander.
While landmine deaths have sharply declined since 2015, the uptick in 2018 is reflective of the renewed intensity of the conflict between the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the Colombian government, as well as between the ELN and several rival armed groups. Landmines are often placed to deter governmental authorities from discovering or accessing coca fields and are common in rural areas.
Individuals in Colombia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, avoid venturing off frequently traveled paths in rural areas, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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