Action against antipersonnel mines
against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA)
Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) program supports a broad
range of activities, including:
humanitarian demining activities, such as advisory assistance,
surveying, marking, and clearance of mines;
for persons living in affected areas;
including physical and psychological rehabilitation, and socioeconomic
reintegration of mine-cleared zones;
Supervision of and
assistance with the destruction of stockpiled mines;
Development of a
prohibiting the use, production, sale, and transfer of antipersonnel
mines and in stockpile destruction.
The program operates under a number of
mandates and promotes general interest in making the Americas an
Overall program coordination is handled by the Department of
Multidimensional Security of the OAS General Secretariat (Office
of Humanitarian Mine Action), which also seeks financial contributions
from the international community. The
Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) provides technical assistance
through international monitors or supervisors in countries in the affected
In 2004, over 12,000 mines and explosive devices were destroyed and
approximately 1.5 million square meters were cleared in Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Peru. Military trainers and other
experts have been provided to conduct training courses for mine clearers
from affected countries.
Preventive education programs aim to reduce the number of accidents by
promoting safety among inhabitants of mine-affected communities. They
stress participation by the communities and how they will benefit by
providing information on the location of mined areas and explosive
devices. Preventive education campaigns involve visits to these
communities, radio announcements, and school programs. The country’s own
personnel and AICMA staff have been trained to teach prevention in schools
and communities in affected areas. In each of the receiving countries,
these campaigns are closely coordinated with mine-clearing operations.
Over 20,000 persons living in mine-affected areas have been reached.
Since 1997, nearly 600 victims of antipersonnel mines have received
support. Victims who have no social security of military benefits receive
transportation between their communities and rehabilitation centers,
lodging, meals, prostheses, therapy, and medication from AICMA.
AICMA cooperates closely with international and nongovernmental
organizations such as the United Nations [through its Mine Action Service
and its Children’s Fund (UNICEF)]; the Geneva International Center for
Humanitarian Demining; the Mine Action Information Center at James Madison
University; the World Rehabilitation Fund; Physicians for Human Rights;
and the South Florida Landmine Action Group.