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Country Reports
BOLIVIA, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: In December 1999, Chile began demining its border with Bolivia.

Mine Ban Policy

Bolivia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and was the first country of South America to deposit its instrument of ratification with the UN on 9 June 1998. Bolivia has not enacted national implementation legislation.[1]

Bolivia participated in the First Meeting of State Parties (FMSP) in Maputo in May 1999. In her statement to the plenary, Barbara Canedo Patiño, Director General of Multilateral Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called on the countries which had not signed or ratified the treaty to do so as soon as possible, protested against new deployments of AP mines, encouraged states parties to correctly implement the treaty and described her government’s support for the contribution of the ICBL and the ICRC. She went on to note, “Bolivia gives priority to the Ottawa Convention and confirms its commitment to fulfilling the terms of the Convention.”[2]

Bolivia has participated in some of the intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, including the March 2000 meetings on mine clearance and victim assistance, and the January 2000 meeting on the General Status of the Convention.

Bolivia submitted its Article 7 transparency report on 8 November 1999. While the report was due by 27 August 1999, an official described the delay as due to a simple administrative hold-up and to the change in the cabinet.[3] The report covers the period 1 January 1999 - 1 November 1999, was prepared by the Ministry of Defense, and was submitted in Spanish.

Bolivia voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999, as it had for similar resolutions in 1997 and 1998. It has also voted in favor of the pro-ban resolutions of the Organization of American States (OAS). In a May 2000 response to Landmine Monitor, Bolivia described its “total support and commitment” to the ban on antipersonnel mines.[4]

Bolivia is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). It participated as an observer in the December 1999 First Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II on landmines, but did not make a statement. Bolivia is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Bolivia is not believed to have ever produced or transferred antipersonnel mines. In its Article 7 report, Bolivia states that it has no AP mine production facilities, and that it has no stockpiled antipersonnel mines whatsoever, including any for training. Bolivia is not known to have ever used AP mines.

Mine Clearance

While Bolivia stated in its Article 7 report that it has “no mined areas or areas that are suspected of containing AP mines,” its border with Chile was mined by Chile during the 1970s, and in 1978 in particular, during a territorial dispute. In July 1998, Bolivia’s President Hugo Bánzer asked Chile to demine the area as soon as possible, noting that the mines planted 20 years ago have harmed both the Bolivian and Chilean people. He offered Bolivia’s assistance to Chile in the removal of landmines along the border.[5]

In November 1999 Chile's Head of the Armed Forces, General Ricardo Izurieta, announced in La Paz, Bolivia, that his country would demine the borders with Bolivia, Peru and Argentina “as soon as possible.”[6] On 1 December 1999, the Chilean Army announced in Santiago the launch of the program to clear mined areas and specified that it would begin immediately along the border with Bolivia: around Tambo Quemado, between Chile's First Region (Primera Región de Chile) and the Bolivian zone of Charana, at an altitude of some 4,000 meters in the Andes.[7] On 9 December 1999, a media report said deminers had destroyed 250 antipersonnel mines and 27 antitank mines, discovered in Portezuelo de Tambo Quemado near the Bolivian border.[8]

At the time, the Chilean Army estimated that it would take approximately three months to demine this area,[9] but the mine clearance was still underway as of May 2000. An official told Landmine Monitor that although Bolivia considers the demining process to be very slow, Bolivia is pleased demining has started and considers it as a sign of Chilean goodwill. The official also noted that Bolivia would like Chile to ratify the treaty as soon as possible because it means a commitment to demine in a scheduled time.[10]

A Bolivian newspaper reported the deaths of three Bolivian peasants due to mines between 1985 and 1997, but Landmine Monitor is unaware of any mine victims since then.[11]


[1] In its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, submitted 8 November 1999, Bolivia states in Form A, “No se dispone de medidas de aplicación alguna.” (Translation: “There are not national implementation measures.”)
[2] Statement by Barbara Canedo Patiño, Director General of Multilateral Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, 3-7 May 1999. In Spanish, translation by Landmine Monitor researcher.
[3] Telephone interview with Barbara Canedo Patiño, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 May 2000.
[4] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire, provided by Barbara Canedo Patiño, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 May 2000.
[5] “Bolivia offers Chile assistance to accelerate the demining along the border,” Agence France Presse (La Paz), 4 July 1998.
[6] “Chile announces the demining of its borders,” Agence France Presse (La Paz), 18 November 1999.
[7] “Chile begins the demining in the border with Bolivia,” Agence France Presse (Santiago), 1 December 1999; “Army Begins To Dismantle Mine Fields,” El Mercurio, (Chilean national newspaper), 1 December 99.
[8] “277 Landmines Destroyed,” MISNA, Tambo Quemado, Chile, 9 December 1999.
[9] “Chile begins the demining in the border with Bolivia,” Agence France Presse (Santiago), 1 December 1999.
[10] Telephone interview with Barbara Canedo Patiño, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 May 2000.
[11] El Diario, 21 September 1997.