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Ex-foes Peru and Ecuador partner against a scourge of war: land mines

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Years ago, the extent of the land mine problem caught the attention of Princess Diana, who traveled to Angola and Bosnia to bring attention to the dangers, and the US-based International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and its coordinator, Jody Williams, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for their work bringing about an international ban.

Since the treaty was written, the situation has improved. In 1994, Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia led the list of severely affected countries, suffering 22,000 casualties a year. But in 2009, the rate of reported global casualties dropped to just under 4,000, according to the ICBL.

Aurora Martinez of the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining says that the cooperation between Peru and Ecuador is unusual. She says that while other countries have worked together on demining, "cooperation between Peru and Ecuador goes beyond what has been seen in other cases. The joint training will further cement this cooperation."

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