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Peruvian taxi destroyed in old border minefield

The Americas Post - Apparently a minefield that's nearly forty years old can still pack a punch

Chilean army explosives specialists recovered the remains of a Peruvian taxi out of a minefield on Saturday. At least one person was killed in the explosion that tore apart the taxi the night before.

Authorities say the driver went off-road and entered a well-marked minefield after dark Friday night in apparent attempt to avoid border controls.

The police official at Chile’s Chacalluta border crossing said that more than one person was killed.  The on-duty official spoke on condition of anonymity per police policy.  Later reports, however, indicated a single taxi driver was killed while attempting to smuggle American-made clothing into Peru from Chile.

The vehicle exploded after hitting an anti-tank mine in an area known as “Quebrada Escritos,” several miles south of Peru.  Chile and Peru are working with the Organization of American States to hire an international company to clear the mines.

The dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet laid hundreds of thousands of mines along Chile’s borders with Peru and Bolivia in the 1970s, when it feared invasion from the north. Chile had sent most of its forces to the extreme south to defend against threats from Argentina. War was avoided after Pope John Paul II intervened.