Thanks to the operations in which it participates in the binomial canine were destroyed thousands of explosive devices in Colombia.
The use of dogs has increased in the last 10 years in Colombia. With 2.797 canes, the National Army covers the territory with the detection of explosive substances, narcotics, rescue, search and rescue, tracking and intervention. With the excellent results achieved, the goal is to increase their participation in all operations.
The UN recently certified a group of dogs already trained in humanitarian demining, with which the couples would be ready to be deployed along the colombian territory. In the framework of the certification process, staff of veterinary medicine of the Southern Army of the united States visited in June, the School of Dog Training in the military fort of Tolemaida with the purpose of meeting the colombian experience in the breeding and training of canines to detect mines as part of a humanitarian demining program aimed for the Direction Dog of the National Center Against Explosive devices and Mines (CENAM). Both armies exchanged knowledge on the training and breeding of dog for these tasks, in addition to sharing information about the veterinary care that they both do.
“At the end of the journey [of the visit] and of the exhibitions, the conclusions outlined the common points that we have two armies to use dogs under the same conditions, both in the form of [take advantage of] their capabilities, the rigours of training and the methods of parenting, such as in the health aspects,” he said to Dialogue the Colonel of the Army of Colombia, Jorge Armando Ramirez Troncoso, in charge of the Direction Dog of the CENAM. “In this last point we retroalimentamos so particular about the handling of treatments and use of medications,” he added.
In Colombia, the dogs are used especially in the detection of explosive substances. “Since 1998 we started to [focus] for the detection of explosive substances, it has been much the contribution that these animals have lent to the force,” he told the Dialogue the Colonel of the Colombian Army Eddy Bladimir Moscoso Castiblanco, commander of the CENAM. “Today the binomial canine is critical for the detection of explosives, along with the metal detector, the equipment of hook and rope and the technical explosives”.
More dogs and resources
The Address Canine has large projects with the program, which includes the construction of four modern hospital units, spread strategically in the country. For the development of this project, the american foundation Warren Buffett gave a donation of US$ 16 million.
The races of better performance in the training, subsequent performance in the operations and greater resistance to the climatic and geographic conditions are Labrador, Belgian Malinois and Golden Retrievers. The training of a dog lasts four months and starts at the same time with the military that will be a binomial; this association will only be dissolved with extreme circumstances. A dog trained to detect explosives has five years of active life. The Colombian Army hopes to soon be meeting the 5,000 canes that requires for its operations.
“We are missing dogs and resources. Currently we buy between 600 and 800 dogs a year. This is why we entered into the nursery. The goal is to be self-sufficient in a short time. [The dogs] are subjected to a rigorous selection process. Not all meet the requirements,” said lt Col. Ramirez.
Strategy of the CENAM
The Address Canine was consolidated in 2016 as part of the National Center Against Explosive devices and Mines, which was established in the year 2012 to the root of the internal conflict, and as a response to the need of the growing use and indiscriminate mines and all kinds of explosive devices used by the guerrilla groups Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army and the drug traffickers against the civilian population, against the infrastructure and directly against members of the Colombian Army and National Police.
The specialized unit was necessary to know everything about the substances, explosive, due to the characteristics of the use of mines and the emergence of the explosives manufactured with the most various inputs. “We needed a solid structure to counter the use of mines,” said Col. Moscoso. “The explosive has to be understood as a system, and only with a well-articulated system would decrease the power of these explosive charges”.
More than 23,000 artifacts destroyed
In Colombia, the problem of landmines and explosives of all types had critical times. According to official sources, since 2008, the event grew to an average of 2.5 injuries per day. For the 2012 the panorama of victims by explosives was devastating. The statistics of the time threw more than 7,000 victims. The creation of the CENAM became a priority for the colombian State and to the FF. MM.
“In this process contributed in a definitive manner SOUTHCOM. It was and is our best ally. We helped with the creation of this unit from the beginning”, explained the Cnel. Moscoso. “Were delegated to staff for us to assist in the formation of a functional structure. We receive instruction, training, supplies, staffing, resources. It is a collaboration that maintains and evolves. At this moment the main effort is framed in humanitarian demining”, he said.
The CENAM operates with three lines of action: anticipation, prevention and protection; and through six agencies: the Directorate of Military Demining, Directorate of Research, Directorate of Innovation, Directorate of Humanitarian Demining, the Direction of War of Mines and Direction of the Canine. From 2013 to 2017, these police forces have destroyed 23.878 explosive devices.