Jan 17, 2010

Mahmud, Kanispi

What can you do when you find yourself in a landmine field? This was one lesson in the CPT training. But how many people took the lesson seriously when it was taught in the city of Chicago?

At Iraq and Iran border, there is a landmine field in a beautiful mountainous area, Kanispi.

The beauty of nature and malicious politics form a death trap for the lives of those inheriting the land.

Mr. Mahmud has been fighting to live in a beautiful borderland for decades. Saddam destroyed the nature and lives of farm families. Mr. Mahmud’s family restored it. But the price was the loss of one brother, one son, and one leg. Now Turkey and Iran are using the same methods of destruction. Heavy bombardments force people to give up their way of life.

The United States government is sharing intelligence with Turkey to help Turkey and Iran combat PKK and PJAK. But often those attacks are on civilian villages. Mr. Mahmud wants the three countries to stop their military actions so he can clear the landmines from the field.

According to a local rehabilitation center SACH, there are 6 million to 8 million landmines in Iraq, 19,290 villages are affected and the victims of landmines reached to 9,000.

*Kani Spi means White Spring. It is a Kurdish village at Iraq-Iran border
*PKK: Kurdistan Workers Party, Turkey.
*PJAK: Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, Iran.
*Photos: (1) Matt Barr, CPT 2009 April Delegation. (2-3)Bob Holmes, CPT.