Quelle: News Deeply
Dressed in army fatigues, Alejandra Segura patrols a field in central Colombia, checking the work of her fellow soldiers. They are training to clear landmines, and Segura is the only woman in sight.
In fact, as we drive around the Colombian army base – a sprawling complex in the “tierra caliente,” or hot country, three hours outside of Bogota – she is the only woman in uniform anywhere.
For decades, Colombia’s female army recruits were relegated to back-office positions. That changed in 2009, when a new policy allowed women to serve. Since then, women like Segura have been able to rise up the ranks. While they are trained for battle, they have not yet been deployed to combat positions.
Segura, 23, joined in the first wave of female recruitment. Eight years later, she is helping to train the next generation of demining specialists, who will help clear Colombia’s soil of the deadly remains of a 50-year civil conflict that is only just coming to an end.
Last year, the government agreed to a peace deal with the country’s left-wing FARC guerrilla group (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). More than 7,000 fighters have demobilized since the agreement, but clearing the detritus of the war is going to take much longer. Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has promised that the country will be free of landmines by 2021.
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