MAG is working to help the Peruvian Army destroy dangerous munitions to help save lives. Incredible drone footage has captured the moment that several large controlled explosions rocked the Peruvian landscape, as 15 tons of dangerous items were destroyed to help keep communities safe.
More than 500 tons of dangerous and degrading munitions have been destroyed over the last two years.
“Around the world, weapons and ammunition can often be stored in or near built-up areas. If there is an unplanned explosion the consequences can be devastating, causing mass death and injury, as well as destroying homes, schools and other buildings,” says MAG’s country director in Peru, Antonio Armentano.
“This is why we take old munitions to remote places where they can be safely destroyed. The explosion you see in the drone footage shows MAG destroying roughly 15 tons of obsolete munitions from the Peruvian Army, including mortars and rockets.”
Unsecured munitions pose a threat to people living in countless countries across the globe. Often the weapons and ammunition become unstable after becoming obsolete or stored in unsuitable facilities. This is particularly true of areas like the Peruvian Amazon where the hot and humid environment can cause materials to degrade over time.
Several people have been critically injured or killed as a consequence of unplanned explosions at munitions sites in Peru. A few incidents occurred in army facilities resulting in the death of soldiers and, in many cases, civilian injuries.
IF THERE IS AN UNPLANNED EXPLOSION THE CONSEQUENCES CAN BE DEVASTATING, CAUSING MASS DEATH AND INJURY, AS WELL AS DESTROYING HOMES, SCHOOLS, AND OTHER BUILDINGS.
ANTONIO ARMENTANO, MAG COUNTRY DIRECTOR IN PERU
MAG's work in Peru is supported by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the U.S. Department of State, which is committed to reducing the harmful effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used weapons of war.
Stanley Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State says:
“The U.S. is proud to partner with MAG and the Government of Peru to better manage their munition stockpiles, reducing the potential of depot explosions and illicit diversion of weapons. This work directly benefits not just the Peruvian people but also citizens from neighboring countries.”
MAG specialists have been training members of the Peruvian military on how to destroy the munitions in a safe and stable way, giving them the tools to continue the vital work in the future.
This is not an issue confined to Peru. In 2012, for instance, more than 200 people were killed when a munitions store in Congo’s capital city, Brazzaville, exploded in the middle of the night after a short circuit caused a blaze inside the military depot. Hundreds of people were injured and buildings in close proximity were flattened. The blast was so strong it shattered windows in a neighboring town over 3 miles away.
MAG is proud to work around the world with governments, military entities, and civilian communities to address the impact of obsolete weapons of war. Thank you for helping us make this lifesaving work possible!
Thank you to our donors in Peru
U.S. Department of State