Protests in Colombia after children killed by landmine

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Friday, February 18, 2005

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Three children were killed Sunday in Vistahermosa, Meta, Colombia when a landmine exploded during a soccer game. According to residents the landmine had been left by FARC's guerrillas.

The children were identified as 4-year-old William Cardona, 9-year-old Javier Cardona and 8-year-old John Jairo Cardozo were buried on Tuesday in Maracaibo.

The deaths of the boys resulted in a peaceful protest by 1,500 students from local elementary and middle schools. The students walked the streets of the town along with their teachers, since most of the adults feared the retaliation by the armed groups of FARC.

Colonel Carlos Hugo Ramírez Zuluaga of the XII Brigada Móvil del Ejército said that there are about five thousand landmines in the region which is part of the old zone of distension where the insolvent dialogues of peace with the FARC were carried out between 1992 and 2002.

The NGO Campaña Colombiana contra Minas (Colombian Campaign against Landmines) denounced the deaths on Tuesday.

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