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Country Reports
BRAZIL, Landmine Monitor Report 2001
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Key developments since May 2000: Domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty is currently before the Senate. Brazil submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report, which made public for the first time details about Brazil’s stockpile of 34,562 antipersonnel mines. Brazil intends to retain 16,550 mines for training, the most of any State Party.

Mine Ban Policy

The Mine Ban Treaty was signed by Brazil on 3 December 1997, and ratified on 30 April 1999. The treaty was promulgated by the President on 5 August 1999 (Decree 3.128).[1] It entered into force on 1 October 1999.

On 13 March 2001, the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress approved the text of Draft Law No. 3.585, which “prohibits and establishes as criminal offenses all activities on national territory involving antipersonnel landmines, including use, development, production, transfer, stockpiling and any commercial activities” with the exception of those carried out by the Armed Forces according to Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[2] It includes four to six years imprisonment or a fine, with the possibility that the penal sanction will increase by a third if a public servant is responsible (civilian or military), and will increase by half in the case of repeat offenders.[3] The legislation is being examined by the Upper House (Senate) of the National Congress.[4] It is currently before the Senate’s Constitutional Affairs, Justice and Citizenship Committee, but as of June 2001, it had not yet been discussed.[5]

Brazil submitted its initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report on 4 September 2000, covering the period from October 1999 to March 2000. It submitted its second Article 7 report on 30 April 2001, covering the period from March to December 2000. The reports detail national implementation measures, name former production facilities, numbers of stockpiled antipersonnel mines and the plan for their destruction.

Brazil attended the Second Meeting of States Parties in September 2000, with a delegation led by its Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva. It did not make a statement to the plenary, but provided Landmine Monitor with a brief clarification on the 2000 report.[6] Brazil attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in December 2000 and May 2001, with representatives from Brasilia as well as from the Geneva mission.

From 16 to 21 October 2000, Brazil hosted the Fourth Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas in Manaus. The “Declaration of Manaus” issued by the meeting included under point 11, a call for “greater participation in effective implementation of the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel landmines and on their destruction.”[7]

In November 2000, Brazil attended Regional Seminar on Stockpile Destruction in the Americas in Buenos Aires, which resulted in the Managua Challenge, a call to states of the region to complete ratification and stockpile destruction by September 2001, the time of the Third Meeting of States Parties. Also in November, Brazil voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 55/33V, supporting the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines continues to advocate for full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and assistance for mine-affected countries that received Brazilian-manufactured antipersonnel mines.[8]

Brazil is a State Party to Amended Protocol II (Landmines) of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). In December 2000, Brazil attended the Protocol’s Second Annual Conference of States Parties and included a call for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty in a statement to the plenary.[9] Brazil submitted its Article 13 Annual Report on 13 December 2000, covering the period from August 1999 to August 2000.

Production, Transfer and Use

Brazil is a former producer and exporter of antipersonnel landmines. The Article 7 report indicates that Brazil has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines since 1989. In 1999 Brazil told the First Meeting of States Parties that Brazil had not exported since 1984.[10] The Article 7 report lists two companies which formerly produced antipersonnel mines: Química Tupan AS and IBQ Indústrias Químicas (formerly Britanite Indústria Química Ltda).[11]

Landmine Monitor has found no evidence of antipersonnel landmine use in Brazil (including areas near the Colombian border) and Brazil continues to state that there are no mined areas in its national territory.[12]

Stockpiling and Destruction

Brazil has a stockpile of 34,562 antipersonnel mines (30,425 Belgian-manufactured MAP NM M409 and 4,137 Brazilian- manufactured MAP NM T-AB-1).[13] While it has not yet started destruction of its stockpile, the Ministry of Defense is reported to be preparing a destruction plan. Destruction will commence once the plan is completed and the destruction will conform to the deadline established in Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty (four years from entry into force).[14] Stockpile destruction will reportedly be done by either detonation, or by immersion of the explosive charge in boiling water followed by burning of the inflammable residues.[15] A total of 11,484 landmines held by the Brazilian Armed Forces are currently “undergoing chemical tests to determine whether they may be destroyed immediately.”[16]

According to Brazil’s latest Article 7 report, it will retain 16,550 antipersonnel mines for training purposes as permitted under Article 3 (13,449 MAP NM M409 mines and 3,101 MAP NM T-AB-1). These will be kept in two locations: the Armed Forces’ Ammunition Central Depot and the Navy Ammunition Center).[17] The number of mines retained is the most by any State Party. Brazil initially reported that it would retain 17,000 mines; 450 of these were destroyed during training in the period from March to December 2000.[18] Brazil reports that the mines are needed for training to allow the Armed Forces to participate in international demining activities. All the retained mines “will be destroyed in training activities during a period of 10 years after the entry into force of the Convention for Brazil, that is, by October 2009.”[19]

Mine Action

Brazil is not mine-affected, but it actively participates in international humanitarian mine action on a bilateral and multilateral basis. In its CCW annual report submitted in December 2000, Brazil reported participation by eleven Brazilian army experts in the Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in Central America (MARMINCA), assistance in demining efforts in Angola and a $3,000 contribution to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action.[20]

While there have been some Brazilian landmine casualties during participation in UN peacekeeping operations and mine clearance efforts, no casualties were recorded in the reporting period. Brazil has a number of disability laws.

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[1] According to the Article 7 report, “‘Promulgation’ is a necessary procedure under Brazilian Constitutional Law, whereby an international treaty previously ratified by Brazil is formally incorporated into the corpus of domestic law. The publication of the treaty’s text in the Federal Government’s official journal also constitutes a national dissemination measure.” Article 7 report, Form A, 30 April 2001.
[2] Article 7 report, form A, 30 April 2001. During the debate in the National Congress, opposition party Deputies Alberto Fraga and Aldo Rebelo expressed concerns that measures in the legislation would harm the country from the point of view of national defense and sovereignty, especially along frontiers. The deputy who introduced the legislation, Eduardo Jorge, replied, “No longer is national sovereignty built by the barrel of the gun.” Jornal da Câmara Brasília - Segunda-feira, 10 April 2000, Ano 2 - Nº 284 CÂMARA DOS. www.camara.gov.br.
[3] Draft Law No. 3.58 is titled “Ementa Proíbe o emprego, o desenvolvimento, a fabricação, a comercialização, a importação, a exportação, a aquisição, a estocagem, a retenção ou a transferência, direta ou indiretamente, de minas terrestres antipessoais.”
[4] Article 7 report, Form A, 30 April 2001.
[5] The Comissão de Constituição, Justiça e Cidadania (CCJ).
[6] The clarification is available in full on the Landmine Monitor web site at
[7] Declaration of Manaus, IV Defense Ministerial Conference of the Americas, Manaus, Brazil, 16-21 October 2000. Delegations participated from Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela. See www.defesa.gov.br.
[8] Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines, “Open letter to Foreign Minister Celso Lafer,” 1 March 2001.
[9] Statement by Ambassador Celina Assumpção do Valle Pereira to the Second Annual Conference of the CCW Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 12 December 2000.
[10] Article 7 report, Form E, 30 April 2001; Statement by Ambassador Ivan Cannabrava, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations, to the First Meeting of State Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, 3 May 1999.
[11] Article 7 report, Form E, 30 April 2001.
[12] Article 7 report, Form C, Form F and Form I, 30 April 2001.
[13] In its initial Article 7 report, Brazil reported a stockpile of 35,012 antipersonnel mines, while the subsequent report lists a slightly lower figure of 34,562 AP mines. The difference of 450 AP mines is in Lot # 1-35, which listed 11,727 M409 AP mines in the initial report and 11,277 M409 AP mines in the subsequent report. These AP mines were destroyed during training. Article 7 report, form B, 4 September 2000; Article 7 report, form B, 30 April 2001. The reports do not include reference to 200,000 mines allegedly destroyed after March 1999, as reported in the media. See Pedro Paulo Rezende, “Brasil Destrói Minas Antipessoal,” Correio Braziliense, 3 May 2000, p. 4.
[14] Article 7 report, Form F and form G, 30 April 2001.
[15] Article 7 report, Form F, 30 April 2001.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Article 7 report, form D, 4 September 2000; Article 7 report, form D, 30 April 2001.
[18] These were 450 M409 mines from Lot # 1-35. Article 7 report, form D, 4 September 2000; Article 7 report, form D, 30 April 2001.
[19] Article 7 report, Form D, 30 April 2001.
[20] CCW Article 13 annual report, Form E, 13 December 2000.