NPR

Digging Up Land Mines: 'If You Say You're Not Afraid, You're Lying'

Colombia is one of the world's most heavily mined countries. Now that the rebels and the government have reached a peace deal, the slow process of de-mining is underway.
Members of Handicap International's de-mining team in Colombia debate how best to destroy an improvised explosive device that they unearthed. Source: Jason Beaubien/NPR

Kevin Canas Quitumbo was 13 years old when shrapnel from a land mine ripped through his left leg, up his torso and all the way to the back of his skull. That was five years ago. His doctors are still working to repair the damage.

"In January and February I have to go back to the hospital," he says. "The doctors are going to put additional metal rods into my foot."

Canas stepped on the mine during a protest for indigenous rights in the southwestern region of Cauca in Colombia.

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