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Country Reports
Argentina, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: In 2002, a total of 8,004 antipersonnel mines were removed from stockpiles and rendered inert or transformed into antivehicle mine fuzes. In June 2003, the OAS and Argentina signed an agreement for cooperation and technical assistance for stockpile destruction. Argentina plans to destroy its remaining stockpile of about 90,000 antipersonnel mines between June and December 2003.

Mine Ban Policy

Argentina signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 14 September 1999 and the treaty entered into force on 1 March 2000.

Argentina has not enacted national implementation legislation. Argentina again reported in May 2003, as in the past two years, that it is studying ways to incorporate into Argentine law penalties on the use, stockpiling, production or transferring of antipersonnel mines. Law No. 4745/01 prohibits the use of antipersonnel mines within the Armed Forces.[1]

Argentina is a former producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines.[2] It instituted an export moratorium in March 1995, since superceded by the Mine Ban Treaty. Argentina reports it last produced antipersonnel mines in 1990, and that equipment formerly used for that purpose is now being used to make reinforced fuzes, detonators for grenades, initiators, and other items.[3]

Argentina attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002. Major Fernando Carlos Dorrego of the Ministry of Defense made presentations on Argentina’s stockpile destruction plans to both the February and May 2003 meetings of the intersessional Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction.[4]

Landmine Monitor has received an advance copy of Argentina’s annual Article 7 Report, dated 12 May 2003, covering calendar year 2002. As of July, it had not been posted on the United Nations website. This is Argentina’s fourth Article 7 report.[5]

On 22 November 2002, Argentina voted in support of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74, promoting universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Argentina is a State Party to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and participated in the Fourth Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II in December 2002. It submitted its annual report required by Article 13 of Amended Protocol II.

Stockpiling and Destruction

In its May 2003 Article 7 report, Argentina reported a stockpile of 90,109 antipersonnel mines, as of December 2002: 7,712 FMK-1 (Argentina); 71,115 EXPAL P-4-B (Spain); 1,699 MAP (Libya); 2,588 TRA (Libya); and 6,995 SB-33 mines (Italy).[6]

Form B of the May 2003 Article 7 Report indicates that changes in the stockpile in 2002 were the addition of 440 FMK-1 mines, and the destruction (or rendering inert) of 6,844 mines, including 3,904 EXPAL P-4-B and 2,940 SB-33.[7]

According to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, the additional 440 FMK-1 Argentine antipersonnel mines were overlooked in past reports “probably due to lack of centralized information,” but “the immediate report of this newly found stockpile shows good will and transparency.”[8]

Form G of the May 2003 Article 7 Report provides additional, but contradictory, information about removal and destruction of mines from stockpiles in 2002. It states 3,904 FMK-1 mines were made inert at the General Directorate of Military Industries (these are listed as EXPAL P-4-B in Form B). It states 2,940 EXPAL P-4-B were made inert by destruction of their explosive content at the Puerto Belgrano Naval Base (these are listed as SB-33 in Form B).

In addition, a total of 1,160 FMK-1 were transformed into fuzes for FMK-5 antivehicle mines by welding on a “cápsula adaptadora,” a cap that cannot be removed, with a resistance of 300 kilograms. Argentina considers these FMK-1 mines “destroyed for the purposes of the Convention.”[9] However, the removal of these 1,160 mines from the stockpile was not reflected in Form B. These discrepancies call into question the accuracy of the stockpile figures.

Argentina also reported that starting in 2002, the Army began a process of converting 10,000 EXPAL antipersonnel mines to use as training devices. This process will conclude in 2003.[10]

Previously, from November 1998 to November 2000, Argentina destroyed 2,360 antipersonnel mines.[11]

On 9 June 2003, the OAS and Argentina signed an agreement for cooperation and technical assistance for destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines.[12] Canada will also provide technical assistance.

At the May 2003 intersessional Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, an Argentine Ministry of Defense official made a presentation on the country’s stockpile destruction plan, which is due for completion on 4 December 2003. The treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction in Argentina is 1 March 2004.

Argentina Stockpile Destruction Plan

Date (all in 2003)
Number of antipersonnel mines to be destroyed
22 June-11 July
Monte Caseros, Corrientes province
14 July-22 August
Azul, Buenos Aires province
25 August-3 October
Cerrizuela, Córdoba province
6-10 October
Covunco, Neuquén province
20-24 October
Sarmiento, Chubut province
27 October-7 November
Puerto Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz province
22 June-30 November
Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires province
4 December
Campo de Mayo, Buenos Aires province


The total of 90,764 mines reported slated for destruction differs from the stockpile of 90,109 mines reported in the May 2003 Article 7 Report. The types of mines to be destroyed in the destruction events in eight locations are not specified.

Argentina reported that the Navy is retaining 1,000 antipersonnel mines (860 SB-33 mines and 140 FMK-1 mines), for use in training until 1 March 2010.[13]

Landmine Problem

Argentina has repeatedly stated that the only mine-affected part of its territory is the Malvinas/Falkland Islands. (See separate Landmine Monitor entry). Argentina included an interpretative statement (“Declaración Interpretativa”) on its claims of sovereignty over the islands in its May 2003 Article 7 Report, as it had in previous years.[14] The Office of Humanitarian Demining of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces told Landmine Monitor that there is also a problem with unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the islands.[15] It said no official studies have been made on the existence of UXO in Argentina, but it plans to hold a seminar to discuss this problem with NGOs.[16]

Mine Action

Argentina did not provide any financial assistance to mine action in the reporting period, but a company of engineers from the Argentine Army continued to carry out demining operations and UXO disposal in Kuwait as part of the UNIKOM peacekeeping mission.[17]

Twenty military officers from the branches of the Armed Forces participated in two refresher courses on humanitarian demining in CAECOPAZ in July and November 2002. Argentine Naval Marine engineers received training in humanitarian demining through an annual course at the Naval Base in Puerto Belgrano from February to November 2002.[18]

In its fiscal year 2002, the United States spent $700,000 to fund a one-time US military train-the-trainer session for Argentine humanitarian mine action instructors. This was aimed at increasing their ability to provide humanitarian demining training to other nations.[19]

No mine casualties were recorded during the reporting period. The government is considering providing a mine risk education program for the population who live near the mine affected border areas.[20]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 12 May 2003.
[2] According to the US Department of Defense, Argentina is reported to have manufactured three types of antipersonnel mines: the FMK-1 plastic blast mine, the MAPG pressure or tripwire mine, and the MAPPG bounding mine.
[3] Article 7 Report, Form E, 12 May 2003.
[4] Mayor Fernando Carlos Dorrego, Ministry of Defense, “Plan nacional para la destrucción de existencias de minas antipersonal en depósito,” presentation at the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 15 May 2003.
[5] See also Article 7 Report, 23 July 2002 (for calendar year 2001); Article 7 Report, 28 May 2001 (for the period 22 August 2000-11 May 2001); Article 7 Report, 31 August 2000 (for the period 14 March-21 August 2000).
[6] Article 7 Report, Form B, 12 May 2003.
[7] Article 7 Reports, Form B, 23 July 2002 and 12 May 2003.
[8] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by the Office of Humanitarian Demining of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, 21 March 2003.
[9] Article 7 Report, Form G, 12 May 2003.
[10] Article 7 Report, Form F, 12 May 2003.
[11] Article 7 Report, Form G, 23 July 2002. In November 1998, the Air Force destroyed its entire stockpile of 1,160 FMK-1 antipersonnel mines. From November 1999 to March 2000, the military factory “Fray Luis Beltrán” destroyed 1,000 FMK-1 antipersonnel mines. Argentina also reported the destruction of 200 P-4-B antipersonnel mines in November 2000 during the regional seminar on stockpile destruction in Buenos Aires.
[12] http://www.oas.org/OASpage/press_releases/press_release.asp?sCodigo=AG-06.
[13] Article 7 Report, Form D, 12 May 2003.
[14] Article 7 Report, Form C, 12 May 2003.
[15] Office of Humanitarian Demining response to Landmine Monitor, 21 March 2003.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Article 7 Report, Form A, 12 May 2003.
[18] Ibid.
[19] US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety,” September 2002.
[20] Office of Humanitarian Demining response to Landmine Monitor, 21 March 2003.