Conrad Fox

International reporting projects, migration and robotics




first published in The World / BBC World Service on Aug. 22, 2010

Crossing a minefield

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Three thousand villagers in the mountains of NariƱo, southern Mexico, are surrounded by landmines. The explosives were set by ELN rebels after they were attacked by the Colombian army, and have already taken the lives of several residents. Tragically, the villagers, rebels and local authorities had pioneered a peace agreement amongst themselves, and many blame the army for causing the most recent conflict. Those at home are now trapped there. Another group, caught on the outside when the conflict began, are going to make attempt to return. Soldiers warn them against it, but the group carry vital food and medicine, and are determined to pitck their way across a minefield back to their families.

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For 15 years, Conrad lived in Mexico, where he worked as a freelance radio and print journalist. His work took him into a minefield, a gunfight, a dugout canoe and the homes of many fascinating, brave and generous people. He is also an avid teacher and has led classes in radio, robotics, soccer, physics and anthropology in a diversity of places, including office towers, lecture halls, fields and palm thatched huts.