“You have to think about the country. How many deaths can be avoided if there are peace dialogues, that is the question we must ask ourselves."
Three members of the military and two civilians have died after a group stepped on a landmine Saturday morning in the town of Tibu in the north of the department of Santander Colombia.
Sources in the military say that the group belonging to the Corps of Engineers was doing initial assessments of the area in preparation for upcoming road work when they stepped on a landmine.
Initial reports indicated that two military personnel were injured with one dead, but then the number rose to three killed as a result of the explosion.
The military personnel killed by the mine were identified as Carlos Roberto Prada Sanchez, Wilmer Orduz Matagira, and Jairo Salazar Gonzalez.
This escalation in violence comes on the heels of Colombia’s President Ivan Duque’s attempts to weaken the peace accord between militant groups and the Colombian government.
On Sunday the president announced that he and his right-wing Democratic Center party want to amend six articles of the Statutory Law of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) that mandates the operation of the court. This was a fundamental part of the peace agreement signed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the government.
The president has also closed the doors on negotiations with the National Liberation Army (ELN) on the pretext that all ELN prisoners be freed. The peace talks had ground to a halt after an attack on a national police compound in Bogota on Dec. 25, 2018, which left 20 dead.
Former officials involved in the peace talks, namely Former Mining Minister Alvaro Leyva, have warned of the impending danger which will ultimately follow without peace negotiations.
“You have to think about the country. How many deaths can be avoided if there are peace dialogues, that is the question we must ask ourselves." Alvaro said.