Only since 2009 have female army recruits in Columbia been able to serve along with their male counterparts. However, although women like 23-year-old Alejandra Segura are trained for battle, they have not yet been deployed in combat roles.
Eight years after joining the first wave of female recruitment, Segura is helping train the next generation of demining specialists. Women such as Segura help clear Colombia’s soil of the deadly remains resulting from 50 years of civil war.
In 2016, the Colombian government agreed to a peace deal with the country’s left-wing FARC guerrilla group (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). While more than 7,000 fighters have demobilized since the agreement, clearing the lands of the remnants of war is an ongoing effort. Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has promised that the country will be free of landmines by 2021.
To read more about Alejandra Segura and the efforts to clear landmines from Columbia, please click here.
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