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


Key developments since March 1999: The treaty entered into force for Spain on 1 July 1999. Spain plans to complete destruction of its AP mine stockpile in the year 2000.

Mine Ban Policy

Spain signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, and deposited its instrument of ratification at the United Nations on 19 January 1999. The treaty entered into force for Spain on 1 July 1999. Prior to formal ratification, the Spanish Parliament passed national legislation that came into force in October 1998.[1] The Spanish law follows the provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty, but it does not enact the penal sanctions required by Article 9 of the treaty. The annex to the law states that sanctions will be developed in further implementing legislation. The law includes some provisions on mine clearence and victim assistance, and obliges Spain to destroy the existing stockpiles of antipersonnel mines within three years.

Spain attended the First Meeting of State Parties held in Maputo in May 1999. According to the statement made by the Head of the Spanish Delegation José Eugenio Salarich, “Spain is fully convinced about the link between development and security, between the worldwide initiative on demining and the added special difficulty for the poorest countries.... We encourage those States not yet members of the Mine Ban Treaty to sign and ratify the Convention.... Spain is proud of our initiatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Peru and Ecuador, specially in the fields of training, mine awarness and equipment.”[2]

Spain participated in both meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committees of Experts on General Status of the Convention and one meeting each of the other four SCEs. Spain submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report to the UN on 15 December 1999, covering the period from 1 July 1999-28 December 1999.[3] Spain voted in favor of the December 1999 UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had on similar resolutions in 1997 and 1998.

With respect to the issue of antivehicle mines with antihandling devices, one official pointed out that Spanish Law 33/98 refers to antipersonnel mines and weapons with similar effects. He said, “If an antihandling device or the antivehicle explosion mechanism itself made these devices have a similar effect to antipersonnel mines, they would be included in the applicability of the law.”[4] The Spanish Campaign to Ban Landmines points out that this corresponds to the Mine Ban Treaty, which exempts antivehicle mines with antihandling devices from the definition of an AP mine only if they cannot be activated by the unintentional act of a person.

The Spanish Campaign has raised questions about two Spanish mines, types CETME and SB-81/AR-AN, that have antihandling devices that may be capable of exploding when disturbed unintentionally, and that may cause the mine to have similar effects to an antipersonnel mine. These mines are not included in the stockpile destruction program declared by Spain in its report to the UN under Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Spain is a party to Amended Protocol II (Landmines) of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and attended the First Annual Conference of States Parties to the Amended Protocol II in December 1999. It submitted its report under Article 13 as required. The government continues to support efforts to negotiate a ban on mine transfers in the Conference on Disarmament, of which it is a member.[5]

Production,Transfer and Use

Spanish production of antipersonnel mines ceased officially in May 1996; details of past production and export are noted in the Landmine Monitor Report 1999.[6] No progress has been reported on the conversion of production facilities, nor on the Valsella Meccanotechnica and Expal negotiations on production of mine delivery systems reported last year.

Governmental sources, when asked if Spain would allow U.S. planes or ships carrying antipersonnel mines to use Spanish airfields and ports, have replied that Article 2.4 of the Mine Ban Treaty, which defines “transfer,” does not include the concept of “transit.”[7] This is a curious comment, as Spanish law clearly bans the transit of another country’s AP mines across its national territory.[8]

The last use of AP mines by Spanish forces was on the Moroccan border in 1975.[9] There is no indication that non-state actors may be using AP mines.

Stockpiling And Destruction

According to the information in its Article 7 report, 356,871 antipersonnel mines were stockpiled in Spain as of 28 December 1999.[10] According to the Article 7 report:


El Vacar

La Carraca
Torrejon De Ardoz
Villa Gordo









* Fabricaciones Extremenas

Spain had 853,286 mines when the Mine Ban Treaty and the national law were approved.[11] From July 1998 through December 1999, nearly 500,000 mines, all type P-5, were destroyed, leaving about 350,000 more to be destroyed.[12] On 30 May 2000, a Spanish official said that there were 210,602 antipersonnel mines left to destroy.[13]

According to officials from both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense, destruction will be completed in the year 2000. The rate of destruction is about 1,000 mines per day at a cost of about 638 pesetas (US$ 3.25) per mine.The destruction is being carried out by Fabricaciones Extremeñas, in El Gordo in Caceres region. The contract was signed in 1998 and will end in 2000.

The process of destruction is by incineration after the separation of plastic materials for recycling. This system conforms with the norms approved by the Ministry of Defense as per Ministerial Order 65/93 of 9 June 1993 (BOE n. 114 of 14 June, 1993). Mine destruction is being carried out in accordance with environmental protection laws and with the European Community Council Directive 94/67EC introduced into Spanish legislation by Royal Decree 1217/1997.[14]

The Ministry of Defense initially planned to keep 10,000 mines (9,784 of the P-5 type, and 216 of the P-4-B) for training purposes during the next ten years, as permitted by Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[15] However, more recent information provided by the Ministry of Defense indicates that it has now decided to retain only 4,000 AP mines, to be used for training on demining under the “Angel” program.[16]

The Spanish government stressed in November 1999 that it would urge the U.S. to withdraw 2,000 AP mines stockpiled in the U.S. military base of Rota (Cádiz) before 30 November 1999.[17] Otherwise these AP mines would be destroyed according to the 1988 Spanish-U.S. agreement on jurisdiction over Spanish territory. According to an official note verbale from the U.S. Embassy to the Spanish Ministry of Defence, the U.S. Forces have withdrawn all the mines prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty. Recent information has confirmed that the withdrawal has taken place.[18] The U.S. apparently has around one hundred AP mines of the Claymore type that both U.S. and Spanish authorities agree are not banned by the MBT.

Mine Action Funding

Spain has contributed to the following humanitarian mine actions:[19]

100,000,000 ptas.
Angola and Mozambique (UN Voluntary Trust Fund)
75,000,000 ptas.
Organization of American States
175,000,000 ptas.
(US$ 1,166,666)
TOTAL 1997
50,000,000 ptas.
Angola and Mozambique (UN Voluntary Trust Fund)
50,000,000 ptas.
Central America – Organization of American States
50,000,000 ptas.
Peru-Equador border (bilateral program)
1,600,000 ptas.
Croatia (sponsorship to the NGO Pueblos Fraternos)
151,600,000 ptas.
(US$ 1,010,666)
TOTAL 1998
29,642,550 ptas.
Kosovo (UN Voluntary Trust Fund)
100,000,000 ptas.
Central America – Organization of American States
44,100,000 ptas.
Bosnia-Herzegovina (bilateral program, MoD)
4,374,600 ptas.
Peru-Equador border (bilateral program)
178,117,150 ptas.
(US$ 1,187,447)
TOTAL 1999
TOTAL (1997-99): 504,717,150 ptas. (US$ 3,364,781)

[1] Law Banning Antipersonnel Landmines as well as those Arms with Similar Effects, Law 33/1998. A copy of the Spanish law can be found in the official journal of the state, Boletin Oficial del Estado, num. Ver. 239-1998, 6 October 1998.
[2] Speech of José Eugenio Salarich, Head of the Spanish Delegation, First Meeting of States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, Mozambique, 3-7 May 1999.
[3] Mine Ban Treaty, Article 7 Report, submitted 15 December 1999; available at: http://domino.un.org/Ottawa.nsf.
[4] Telephone interview and correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 March 2000.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 650-652.
[7] Telephone interview and correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 March 2000.
[8] L. Ayllon, “Espana insiste a EE.UU. para que destruya sus minas antipersonal,” ABC, 2 November 1998, p. 23. See also the Spanish national law in the official journal of the state, Boletin Oficial del Estado, num. Ver. 239-1998, 6 October 1998.
[9] Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 654.
[10] It is still unclear if the 200,000 antipersonnel landmines that had gone past their useful date and should have been destroyed long ago are included in the figures presented in the Article 7 report, see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 652. The Article 7 report also makes no mention of the P4A mine previously understood to be stockedpiled in unknown quantities.
[11] Telephone interview and correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 March 2000.
[12] Article 7 report.
[13] Oral statement by Spanish representative at the Standing Committee of Experts on the General Status of the Convention meeting in Geneva on 30 May 2000.
[14] Article 7 report.
[15] Ibid.
[16] This was publicly announced at the Standing Committee of Experts on the General Status of the Convention meeting in Geneva on 30 May 2000. The Spanish delegate said a re-evaluation had taken place the past few months and that a decision had been reached that 4,000 is the “minimum number absolutely necessary.”
[17] “EEUU presiona a España para convertir Rota en su base más importante del sur de Europa,” (Europe puts pressure on Spain to make Rota its most important military base in southern Europe), El País, 25 November 1999, p. 28. While press accounts cited 2,000 U.S. mines at Rota, Human Rights Watch obtained information from U.S. government sources indicating that in 1997 the U.S. had 37,260 U.S. Army ADAM antipersonnel mines and 930 U.S. Navy air-delivered Gator antipersonnel mines stored in Spain.
[18] Letter from the Ministry of Defense, 29 February 2000.
[19] Telephone interview and correspondence with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 March 2000.