+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Email Notification Receive notifications when this Country Profile is updated.


Send us your feedback on this profile

Send the Monitor your feedback by filling out this form. Responses will be channeled to editors, but will not be available online. Click if you would like to send an attachment. If you are using webmail, send attachments to .


Last Updated: 03 August 2010

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Has not drafted new implementation measures

Transparency reporting

April 2010


The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 14 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999.

Venezuela has not adopted national implementation legislation stipulating penal sanctions for treaty violations, maintaining that domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty is not necessary because international treaties ratified by the government automatically become national law.[1]

In April 2010, Venezuela submitted its annual updated Article 7 transparency report for the period from April 2009 to April 2010.  Venezuela has provided seven previous reports.[2]  Under national implementation measures, Venezuela lists Resolution 012281 issued by the Ministry of People’s Power for Defense (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa) on 21 September 2009 to create a demining committee in the National Armed Forces.[3]

Venezuela did not attend the Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Cartagena, Colombia in November–December 2009.  It participated in the June 2010 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, speaking on mine clearance.

Venezuela is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. Venezuela has never submitted an annual report as required by the protocol’s Article 13. Venezuela is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.


Venezuela has reported that it laid 1,074 antipersonnel mines around six naval bases between April 1995 and March 1997, one of which was subsequently accidentally detonated.[4]  In 2007, Venezuela made statements indicating that it was still making active use of these emplaced antipersonnel mines, which is inconsistent with the Article 1 ban on use.[5]  During 2007 and 2008, the ICBL repeatedly stated its concern that Venezuela was purposefully keeping its antipersonnel mines in place in order to derive military benefit from them, and was not, as required by the treaty, clearing them as soon as possible.[6]

Since 2008, Venezuela stressed other factors—such as dense vegetation, rough weather, and safety concerns—to explain why it has not yet cleared its antipersonnel mines (see Mine Action section of this Country Profile).[7]  In June 2008, Venezuela stated that it was not using mines for defensive purposes, even though there are still “anti-state actors” across its border with Colombia.[8] In June 2010, Venezuela said the mines “pose no danger.”[9]

The Colombian rebel group the National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN), a known producer and user of antipersonnel mines, appears to be maintaining a presence in Venezuela. In October 2009, the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira said that four ELN camps exist inside Tachira.[10] Landmine incidents attributed to the ELN have taken place very close to the border on the Colombian side.[11]

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and destruction

Venezuela has stated that it has not produced antipersonnel mines.[12] It is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. Venezuela previously obtained antipersonnel landmines manufactured by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia.[13]

Venezuela completed destruction of its stockpile of 47,189 antipersonnel mines on 24 September 2003.[14] It has never specified the types of antipersonnel mines that were destroyed.[15]

In its April 2010 Article 7 report, Venezuela stated that it is retaining 4,960 PMA-3 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes, held by the Ministry of Defense.[16] The number is unchanged from the previous five reports.[17] At the June 2008 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Venezuela emphasized that States Parties retaining mines under Article 3 have no obligation to use these immediately, and noted that not all states can or need to use them with the same frequency.[18]

Venezuela has not used the expanded Form D adopted by States Parties in 2005 for reporting on retained mines. Venezuela has not yet reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines—a step agreed by States Parties at the review conferences held in 2004 and 2009.


[1] Venezuela restated this view forcefully during the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2008, in response to an ICRC presentation on Article 9 (national implementation measures). Venezuela said that all ratified international treaties are of the highest domestic legal standing—that of the constitution. The ICRC replied that a specific law was still desirable for various Mine Ban Treaty provisions, such as the Article 3 exception for retained mines and Article 8 provisions on fact-finding missions. Oral Remarks by Venezuela, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 6 June 2008.  Notes by Landmine Monitor.

[2] Venezuela submitted previous reports on 6 July 2009, in April 2008, in April 2007, on 26 April 2006, 4 July 2005, 1 May 2003, and 10 September 2002. It also submitted a one-page letter to the UN on 25 November 2003, confirming completion of stockpile destruction. The initial report, due 1 March 2000, was two and a half years late.

[3] Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2010.

[4] Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2008; and email from Yaneth Arocha, First Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 June 2005. The 1,073 number (1,074 minus the accidental detonation) is the number used in the Article 7 reports submitted in 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005, which was a revised total from the figure of 1,036 used in the report submitted in 2003. Venezuela has reported different dates of emplacement in Article 7 reports. Most notably, Venezuela reported mines were last laid in March 1997 in its Article 7 report submitted on 26 April 2006 while the Article 7 report submitted on 1 May 2003 reports that mines were last laid in May 1998, the latter date being five months after Venezuela signed the Mine Ban Treaty.

[5] For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 740–741.

[6] ICBL Intervention on Compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty, delivered by Stephen Goose, Human Rights Watch, Head of the ICBL delegation, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 27 April 2007. The ICBL repeated these concerns in a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated 18 July 2007, in statements at the Eighth Meeting of States Parties on 18 and 22 November 2007, and in several meetings with Venezuelan officials during 2007.

[7] See Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 28 March 2008; Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2008; Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008; Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 27 May 2009; and Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2010.

[8] Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008.

[9] Monitor notes of intervention by Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2010.

[10] Ashley Hamer, “ELN has four guerrilla camps in Venezuela: Governor Monday,” Colombia Reports, 26 October 2009, colombiareports.com.

[11] “4 Soldiers killed, 2 civilians wounded in Colombia mine field,” EFE News Service (Bogota), 17 May 2009, laht.com.

[12] Article 7 Report, Form H, April 2008; and previous Article 7 reports.

[13] Article 7 Report, Form B, 1 May 2003.

[14] Letter from the Permanent Mission of Venezuela to the UN in Geneva, to the UN Conference on Disarmament Secretariat, 25 November 2003. The 47,189 mines were more than previously reported as held in stock. In September 2002, Venezuela reported a stockpile of 22,136 antipersonnel mines, but in May 2003 reported a revised total of 46,136 antipersonnel mines. See Article 7 Reports, Form B, 1 May 2003; and Form B, 10 September 2002.

[15] Venezuela’s 1 May 2003 Article 7 report, Form B, listed the types and quantities for 46,136 mines still held in stock.

[16] Article 7 Report, Form D, July 2009. In 2005, Venezuela indicated that 4,950 of the mines were held by the National Armed Forces Armament Directorate, and another 10 were located at the Attorney’s Office in Puerto Cabello, Carabobo state. Article 7 Report, 4 July 2005.

[17] In its 10 September 2002 Article 7 report, Venezuela indicated it would retain 2,214 mines; in its 1 May 2003 report it listed 4,614 mines; and in its 25 November 2003 letter it indicated 5,000 mines.

[18] Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 6 June 2008.