Cambodia the Land of Mines

The second country in the world by number of landmines, Cambodia, land of lush forest, ancient temples and deep sorrow, is not still free from a heavy yoke that keep her roped with her past of death. Victim of a tragic inherit from Vietnam war and bloody Pol Pot military regime, Cambodia nowadays has a lot of grounds disseminate of mines and unexploded devices. Grain fields, rice fields, forests are high-risk places especially for peasants and countryside dwellers. Despite they are still far from solution, they are working in two different fronts. First is the land mine clearance, second is rescue of victims. Mine-clearing teams are dealing with the research and clearing of high-risk countryside areas like Battambang province. Field mine-clearing required firmness, attention and cold blood. The first phase requires the use of dogs that, thanks to their weight - lower than men weight - can tread on the fields looking for mines without running the risk of making them blast. The second phase consists in using a metal-detector, even if the action of this instrument is limited because many mines are made of plastic. After identifying a mine, the skilful operators, as CMAC team, defuse it. In the sanitary front, the Italian Emergency hospital has now become a reference point for the Cambodian population. Doctors and nurses provide assistance to many persons mutilated by the landmines. In the daily hospital activities, the history of a Dolla patient is significant. Following a injury, he lost a leg and, when he returned home, he found his son waiting for him, who had been born during his hospitalization. This reportage wants to tell about this silent tragedy that, since twenty years from the end of Khmer Rouge violence, this country is still suffering.

                                                                                                                                         P I C T U R E S