|Empty boots today on Plaza Bolívar representing landmine victims.|
|The boots by each region of the country represented the|
area's number of victims since 1990.
Colombia's 71st landmine victim of 2011 was Jorge Luis Simanca Durango, 27, a rural laborer who stepped on a mine in Ituagana, Antioquia. One other person was injured.
In my previous life as a journalist I interviewed several mine victims in a Cucuta hospital. One, an older man, had been a ranch worker. One day, he stepped off the road on his way home for lunch - and the next thing he knew he'd been thrown into the air by an explosion. His leg was mangled and he'd been transformed from a vigorous, capable man into a cripple who would need his family's support as long as he survived. His doctor told me that the psychological scars were as deep as the physical ones.
|Don't YOU feel fortunate? Mine victims playing soccer.|
|Searching for landmines.|
Colombian pop singer Juanes has campaigned to help victims of landmines.
See the Colombia Without Landmines campaign.
|To commemorate the day, people were asked to roll up a pantsleg.|
|A Brazilian tourist photographs the plaza.|