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Country Reports
PANAMA, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Panama signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997. On 7 October 1998 Panama was the forty-sixth nation to deposit its instrument of ratification at the United Nations.

Panama’s support for a mine ban dates back to 12 September 1996, when Panama’s Foreign Minister joined the other Central American foreign ministers in declaring the region a mine free zone in which production, trade, and use of antipersonnel mines was prohibited. Panama endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration in June 1997, but surprisingly attended the Oslo negotiations as an observer only. It voted in favor of the pro-ban UN General Assembly resolutions in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as the pro-ban Organization of American States resolutions.

Panama is a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its original Protocol II on landmines but has not yet ratified the revised Protocol II.

Panama is not believed to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. There is uncertainty if Panama has imported mines and if it currently has a stockpile of antipersonnel mines.

According to the United Nations, Panama does not have a problem with uncleared landmines.[1] But there are an estimated 5,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance and landmines planted by the U.S. for training purposes in military ranges in the Canal Zone.[2] Under the 1977 Panama Canal Treaty, the U.S. will turn over control of the Panama Canal to Panama on 31 December 1999, and the U.S. must to clear all dangerous materials from its former sites by the year 2000.


[1]UN Landmines Database, Country Report on Panama. http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country/panama.htm

[2]United States Department of State, Hidden Killers: The Global Landmine Crisis, September 1998, p. A-2; “U.S. to remove explosives from Panama bases,” Xinhua news service Panama City, 9 November 1998.