Over the last 20 years, land mines in the fields and jungles of Colombia have maimed more than 10,000 people. The country’s annual casualty rate as a result of those mines is the second highest in the world. While efforts are being made to track and clear the explosive devices, people who live in rural areas remain in constant danger of taking a fatal step.
So often, our excitement for new technology stems from how cool it is or how weird it is. What can get lost in that excitement is that (every once in a while) technology is used to save lives. That’s certainly the case in Colombia, where years of guerrilla warfare have littered the land with multitudes of landmines. The mines, which were often used to protect certain plantations or other structures, have maimed or killed more than 10,000 civilians and soldiers alike since 1990.