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


Key developments since March 1999: The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Venezuela on 1 October 1999. Venezuela has not submitted its Article 7 report, due by 29 March 2000.

Venezuela signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 14 April 1999. According to a Foreign Ministry official, when Venezuela ratifies an international treaty, it immediately becomes national law, and therefore Venezuela considers that there is no need for an implementation law.[1] Venezuela has not yet submitted its Article 7 transparency report, due by 29 March 2000. Venezuela voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999, as it had done on similar resolutions in 1997 and 1998. Venezuela did not participate in the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo, Mozambique in May 1999. An official explained that Venezuela was not yet a State Party (it was in the six month waiting period between ratification and entry into force), and the government considered that it was not useful for the country to participate as an observer.[2]

Venezuela is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons or its Amended Protocol II on landmines but it participated as an observer in the December 1999 First Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in Geneva. Venezuela is member of the Conference of Disarmament and has supported efforts to pursue an AP mine export ban there.

Venezuela states that it has never produced or transferred AP mines.[3] The U.S. Department of Defense lists Venezuela as the producer of the MV-1 antipersonnel mine, which it describes as an improvised fragmentation AP mine that uses an E-1 hand grenade fuse, is made from aluminum, and is black with orange markings on the top and the bottom of the mine.[4] According to the Colombian political and military officials, the illegal traffic of weapons in the border area between these two countries could include AP mines.[5] 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 is currently contributing four supervisors to the OAS Assistance Program for Demining in Central America.[6] Venezuela is not mine-affected but there could be some mined areas on the Colombian side of the border with Venezuela from use by Colombia’s rebel groups.[7] The government states that there are no landmine casualties in Venezuela.[8] Venezuela has a national health system with specialized services located in main urban centers, including rehabilitation services.[9]


[1] Telephone interview with Victor Manzanares, First Secretary for Security and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Venezuela, 4 February 2000.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Telephone interview with Gerardo Delgado, Political Attaché of the Venezuelan Embassy in Colombia, Bogotá, 12 December 1999.
[4] U.S. Department of Defense, “ORDDATA II, Version 1.0,” a CD-ROM distributed by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict.
[5] Interview with Pedro Agustín Roa, Special Issues Unit, Disarmament Office Assistant, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bogotá, 10 December 1999. Interview with Major Anselmo Escobar, Human Rights Official, Fourth Brigade Colombian National Army, Medellin, 5 January 2000.
[6] Email from Jhosslin Bakhat, Organization of American States, to Human Rights Watch, 23 June 2000.
[7] Telephone interview with Gerardo Delgado, Venezuelan Embassy in Colombia, 15 December 1999.
[8] Telephone interview with Victor Manzanares, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 February 2000.
[9] Telephone interview with Gerardo Delgado, Venezuelan Embassy in Colombia, 12 December 1999.