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VENEZUELA, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Burelli Rivas signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. Venezuela has not yet ratified the treaty.

Venezuela participated in all of the ban treaty preparatory meetings, endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration, and took part in the Oslo negotiations. Venezuela also voted in favor of the pro-ban UN General Assembly resolutions in 1996, 1997 and 1998, as well as the pro-ban resolutions of the Organization of American States (OAS).

During the Oslo treaty negotiations, Venezuela caused some concern among ban campaigners by supporting several proposals that would have weakened the treaty greatly, including a clause to permit withdrawal from the treaty in times of war, and an exception for continued use of AP mines in Korea.

Venezuela is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. Venezuela is a member of the Conference on Disarmament and has supported efforts to address the problem of antipersonnel mines in that forum. It was one of twenty-two CD members that in February 1999 jointly called for the appointment of a Special Coordinator on AP mines, and the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate an export ban.[1]

Venezuela is not believed to be mine-affected. Although there have been some allegations that Venezuela has produced antipersonnel landmines, the government has denied ever producing.[2] Venezuela is not thought to have ever exported mines. Venezuela is believed to have a stockpile of AP mines, but the size, composition, and suppliers of the mines are unknown. Venezuela is not known to have used AP mines.

Venezuela has contributed demining experts to assist with mine clearance efforts in Central America.


[1] Statement by Bulgarian Ambassador Petko Draganov to the Conference on Disarmament, undated but February 1999.

[2] The 1993 U.S. Army Countermine Systems Directorate, Worldwide Informational Mine Guide, lists an M6 blast antipersonnel mine produced by Venezuela.