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Country Reports
Chile, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: Humanitarian mine clearance in northern Chile commenced in September 2003 in Region V at the Tejas Verdes School of Military Engineers in San Antonio, where a total of 111 antipersonnel mines and 21 antivehicle mines were cleared by June 2004. Chile joined CCW Amended Protocol II on 15 October 2003.

Key developments since 1999: Chile ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 10 September 2001, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2002. Chile completed destruction of its stockpile of 299,219 antipersonnel mines in August 2003, more than two and a half years before its deadline. It revised downward the number of antipersonnel mines retained for training from 28,647 to 6,245 mines. The National Demining Commission, officially constituted on 19 August 2002, issued a National Demining Plan on 10 January 2003. Humanitarian demining commenced in August 2004. Landmine Monitor fieldwork has produced new information on mined areas and revealed problems with inadequate fencing and warning signs in some areas. Since 1999, there have been at least 13 new mine/UXO casualties in Chile.

Mine Ban Policy

Chile signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified on 10 September 2001, and the treaty entered into force on 1 March 2002. A decree signed on 4 January 2002 and published in the Official Gazette on 9 March 2002 makes the Mine Ban Treaty binding domestically, but does not include penal sanctions or other measures specifically aimed at implementing the provisions of the treaty.[1] The government has said it considers existing arms control legislation that includes sanctions as sufficient to handle implementation of the treaty.[2] However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is leading a consultative process for consideration by the National Congress at the end of 2004 to establish if existing legislation should be modified to deal with antipersonnel mines.[3]

Since actively participating in the Ottawa Process, Chile has attended every annual Meeting of States Parties, as well as the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva, most recently in February and June 2004. Regionally, Chile has attended seminars on landmines held in Argentina (November 2000), Perú (August 2003), and Ecuador (August 2004). It has voted in favor of pro-ban UN General Assembly Resolutions every year since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 of 8 December 2003. It has also supported regional pro-ban declarations and resolutions. In November 2002, Chile hosted the Fifth Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, which issued the Santiago Declaration expressing, “support for the efforts of the UN, OAS, and the various national demining programs to eliminate antipersonnel landmines.”[4]

Chile submitted its third Article 7 report on 3 June 2004.[5]

Chile has made few statements during the extensive discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3. Thus, it has not specifically made known its views on the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training.

However, during the June 2004 meeting of the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Chile reacted favorably to a “Non-Paper” circulated by the co-chairs, aimed at facilitating conclusions on these issues by the Nairobi Review Conference. It said that a review conference should be about conclusions, that the discussion was absolutely relevant, and that the paper was a good basis for discussion and possible consensus.[6]

In August 2004, Chile and Argentina announced they would jointly examine the minimum number of mines needed by each country, with the aim of identifying that minimum number based on actual plans for use in training and development, and not on any stated maximum number to be retained.[7] They circulated a non-paper (dated 26 July 2004) on this at a First Review Conference preparatory meeting in Geneva on 24 September 2004.

Chile deposited its instrument of acceptance of the Convention of Conventional Weapons (CCW), and Amended Protocol II (Landmines), on 15 October 2003 and it attended the Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties in November 2003 as an observer.

In November 2002, the Institute for Political Ecology (IEP, Instituto de Ecología Política), the ICBL’s representative in Chile, brought landmine activists, researchers, and youth from around the region to Santiago for a series of activities and events, including participation in the Fifth Conference of Defense Ministers.[8] Together with the Institute for Strategic and International Security Studies (IDEESI), IEP also held a mine action seminar at the Universidad de la República, attended by mayors from mine-affected municipalities, as well as academics, the public and media, during which the Landmine Monitor Chile researchers released their first independent national report on landmines.[9]

Production, Transfer and Use

Chile is a former producer, exporter, importer, and user of antipersonnel landmines. Both the Army’s Fabricaciones Militares (FAMAE) and a private company named Industrias Cardoen manufactured landmines.[10] Chile has reported producing at least six different types of antipersonnel mines: the MAPP 78-F2 and MAPT 78-F2 mines, both made by FAMAE in 1981; the MOD I (manufactured 1979), II (1980), IEC-II, and M-178 mines, all made by Cardoen. Chile also reportedly manufactured the M-19 antivehicle mine and the Claymore-type directional fragmentation M-18 mine, and Cardoen manufactured the U/I fragmentation mine, according to one source, but none are listed in the Article 7 reports.[11]

Chile has stated that production and export stopped in 1985.[12] On 26 April 1999, the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mariano Fernández Amunátegui, signed an official declaration imposing a unilateral moratorium on the production, export, and use of new antipersonnel mines.[13] While there is little information on the recipients or types of antipersonnel mines produced and transferred by Chile, Article 7 transparency reports have provided some new information. For example, in March 2000 Ecuador declared it stockpiled 101,458 Chilean antipersonnel mines.[14] Chile imported 300,000 M-14 antipersonnel mines from the United States in 1975.[15] According to Chile’s Article 7 report, it imported M-35 antipersonnel mines from Belgium.[16]

In the 1970s and 1980s, Chile planted landmines along its borders with Argentina, Bolivia and Perú, in Region I, II in the north, Region V in the center, and in region XII in the south of the country.

Stockpiling and Destruction

Before destroying its antipersonnel mines, Chile had a stockpile numbering 305,464 antipersonnel mines. It was not until the lead-up to an August 2002 stockpile destruction event that the Ministry of Defense for the first time released official numbers on stockpiled mines.[17]

During the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, Chile announced that it had completed destruction of its antipersonnel mine stockpile in August 2003, more than two and a half years in advance of the treaty-mandated deadline of March 2006.[18] A total of 299,219 mines were destroyed in several phases, starting in November 2000, with the majority (206,831) destroyed in 2003.[19]

On 6 November 2000, Chile destroyed its first 2,000 M16 antipersonnel mines.[20] On 13 September 2001, another 14,000 were destroyed.[21] On 27 August 2002, the Army’s entire stockpile for Region I of 76,388 antipersonnel mines was destroyed in an event attended by President Ricardo Lagos and Minister of Defense Michelle Bachelet, at the Pampa Chaca military training grounds.[22]

In May 2003, the entire stockpile held in Patagonia (Regions XI and XII), 109,058 antipersonnel mines, was destroyed in two separate events. On 8 May 2003, the Army destroyed 36,458 antipersonnel mines at the Las Bandurrias military training grounds in Coyhaique, Region XI.[23] The Army and Navy jointly destroyed 72,600 antipersonnel mines at the Entre Vientos military training grounds in Punta Arenas, Region XII, over a ten-day period, ending with a ceremony on 9 May 2003 attended by the Minister of Defense, diplomats, representatives of the OAS, and the Landmine Monitor researcher.[24]

In August 2003, the last 97,733 antipersonnel mines were destroyed in four separate events.[25] On 19 August 2003, the Army destroyed 12,561 mines and the Military Institute Command destroyed 1,984 at the Río Colorado military grounds in the Metropolitan Region (Santiago). On 21 August 2003, the Army destroyed 7,383 mines at the Pampa Chaca military training grounds outside Arica, in Region I. The Army destroyed 4,596 mines and the fourth division destroyed 12,057 mines in the third destruction event, held 21 August 2003 at the Unihue military grounds near Cauquenes, in Region VII. On 25 August 2003, the Army destroyed 59,192 mines (119 Belgian M-35s and 59,073 US M-14 mines) at Santa Cruz, Calama, Region II in a final destruction event attended by the Minister of Defense, Army Commander-In-Chief General Juan Emilio Cheyre, local authorities and representatives of international and civil society organizations.[26]

Landmine Monitor was present for several destruction events, including the final one. The destruction was carried out by the Army and Navy by open detonation. Canada provided funding to support the costs of final round of stockpile destruction, with assistance provided by the Organization of American States (OAS).[27] Chile reported that the final stockpile destruction cost $125,032, which should be reimbursed in full by the OAS.[28]

In February 2003, Chile announced that it had revised downward the number of antipersonnel mines it would retain for training and development from an initial total of 28,647 mines to a revised figure of 6,245 mines.[29] The mines will be kept by the Army and Navy. In April 2004, Chile told Landmine Monitor that the mines would be used for training and preparation of the demining units according to the plans of each institution, and reported to the National Demining Commission.[30]

Landmine Problem

Chile has reported that it has an estimated 123,443 mines emplaced in 37 different sites around the country, in Regions I and II (in the north of the country), Region V (center) and Region XII (south).[31] Previous estimates put the number of mines emplaced along Chile’s border varying between 250,000 to one million, depending on the source.[32]

According to the September 2002 Article 7 report, a total of 90,963 mines were reported emplaced in three sectors of Region I (Tarapacá), 23,867 mines were reported in 23 sectors in Region II (Antofagasta), 8,490 mines were reported in ten sectors in Region XII (Magallanes) including seven sectors on five islands, and 123 mines were reported in the Valparaiso sector of Region V.[33] The mines in Regions I, II, and V were laid between 1973 and 1980; the mines in Region XII were laid in 1981 and 1983. The Article 7 reports specify the type and number of mines in each sector but not the extent of mined areas.[34] The Army has previously reported a total of 293 minefields, located in Regions I, II and XII, potentially affecting 17 municipalities, including three northern urban centers of Antofagasta, Arica, and Calama.[35]

There are differing opinions about whether emplaced mines shift over time due to climatic conditions such as heavy rains. The Executive Secretary of the National Demining Commission said that the only place in Chile where landmines might not still be in the original location is in Quebrada de Escritos, a ravine along the Peruvian border in Region I; this is why the perimeter of the entire ravine is fenced off, not just of the minefield itself.[36] The First Division’s Commander-in-Chief has reportedly stated that mines could move as much as one or two kilometers due to heavy rains and mudslides common during the Bolivian or highland winter (Invierno Boliviano or Altiplano, December to March).[37]

While no systematic or comprehensive assessment or survey has taken place to determine the extent of Chile’s mine problem or the impact on civilians living in mine-affected areas, Landmine Monitor has conducted field research since February 2001 in the north and south of the country and which, to a limited extent, gives an indication of the impact.[38]

Regions I and II

Landmine Monitor visited a number of mine-affected areas in Region I and II in northern Chile in March 2004. In Region I, north of Arica along the Peruvian border, Landmine Monitor visited minefields located on either side of the Chile-Perú international highway in Quebrada de Escritos, a ravine that runs parallel to the border from the coast towards a high plateau. Near the border crossing, Landmine Monitor observed antipersonnel and antivehicle mines half-buried in the sand, reportedly dislodged in 1978 during a large flood.[39] The Army is uncertain about the location of all mines, and the entire ravine is doubly fenced, not just the minefields themselves. The area is well-marked, and the fences are in good condition.[40] Along the highway south of Iquique, a military practice zone littered with shooting range debris and metal contains are signs that say, “Danger, Deadly Shooting Range, Do Not Enter.”[41]

In Region II, Landmine Monitor visited the town of Ollagüe, located some 200 kilometers northeast of Calama near the Bolivian border. With the exception of the minefield at Ascotán, most minefields are far from the town itself. Ollagüe’s mayor, Carlos Reygadas, told Landmine Monitor that the mine contamination was a vitally important issue, because of a surge in tourism in the area, especially by Europeans who visit the volcanoes and salt lakes. According to the mayor, the state-owned copper mining company Codelco removed a minefield from the Ascotán salt lake in 1992 in order to develop a project there. The National Forestry Service Conaf and other government institutions intend on declaring some parts of Ollagüe protected areas, including Ascotán. This has caused preoccupation, since the minefield is close to houses and tourism routes. The mayor commented that the Army consistently visits the minefields.[42]

Conaf has begun to take a more active role in the landmine problem by creating planes de sitios (site plans), documents outlining the development, infrastructure and tourism flows in specific areas over the next five years, in order to exclude areas near minefields from any possible tourism development. Within this framework, the San Pedro de Atacama community has signed an agreement with Conaf and is charging an entrance fee to the Valle de la Luna Park in order to control the number of people who visit and to assure that visitors stay on safe paths and in safe areas. These paths were mapped and demarcated by geologists.[43] The community is also interested in erecting “Danger, explosives” signs in Valle de la Luna, and indigenous groups in the area have started to demand that the mines be removed from land to which they have ancestral rights.[44] In the town of San Pedro, locals expressed concern over the mine and UXO affected areas in the hills near Argentina and worry about the safety of tourists who ride bicycles and horses in outlying areas.[45] According to the municipal administrator, the municipal government is committed to guaranteeing the safety of visitors. “The [Army] Regiment has shown concern, and has been combing Valle de la Luna and making sure there is not one single antipersonnel mine, and there no danger for tourists.” The local government is also willing to have teachers trained so that the mine problem can be raised in schools.[46] In July 2001, Conaf reported that there were mined areas in six state-protected wilderness areas in Region I, II and XII, but no employees or visitors are known to have been hurt by mines.[47]

In March 2004, Landmine Monitor met with Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Romero of the Reinforced Regiment No. 1 “Topater” in Calama.[48] Romero told Landmine Monitor that between 1978 and 2003 mines emplaced in approximately 30 minefields in Region II had been removed and destroyed as part of minefield maintenance and mine removal training procedures. He added that climatic factors, especially intensive rains, could cause mines to become displaced, and this could provoke an accident during minefield maintenance. According to Romero, the Army continuously checks and clears military practice areas. The Army plans to meet with town council members, and tourism operators to discuss the landmine problem. The acting director of the regional government tourism office, Sernatur, told Landmine Monitor that one of their tourism projects is the former nitrate town of Chacabuco. He said he had heard that the perimeter of Chacabuco was mined and planned to discuss the issue with the Army and government services involved in the project.[49] In April 2004, Landmine Monitor was informed that the National Demining Commission did not have information on the possible mine problem in Chacabuco.[50]

Several items of unexploded ordnance (UXO) have been reported in Region II. In February 2004, a 30-mm artillery shell was found on the road between Calama and the copper mine at Chuquicamata, in Region II.[51] On 20 January 2003, two 105-mm projectiles were discovered outside Calama in an area that had formerly been used for military practice. They were detonated by the military, who said they had been there for at least forty years. On 26 March 2003, a 40-mm mortar inscribed 1968 was found on the grounds of Mejillones port, just north of Antofagasta in Region II.[52] On 2 February 2003, an 81-mm US-manufactured mortar was found in a ravine outside Antofagasta, Region II.[53]

Region V

Chile has reported that 123 M-35 mines remain laid in a marked and fenced off area in Tejas Verdes, San Antonio Sector of Region V, the country’s densely populated central region.[54] In June 2003, Landmine Monitor inspected a minefield located on a hill above part of the Tejas Verdes military regiment at Llo Lleo and across the street from private residences. The minefield was removed between September 2003 and June 2004.

Region XII

On 7 February 2003, Landmine Monitor accepted an invitation by the Chilean Navy to visit minefields on two Patagonian islands close to Argentina in the Beagle Channel in Region XII, just north of Cape Horn—Isla Nueva and Isla Picton—which are only accessible by boat.[55] There is no tourism on the islands, which are almost completely inaccessible unless one visits with the assistance of the Chilean Navy. Landmine Monitor was able to verify that the state of fencing and marking on the islands is very good.

Previous research by Landmine Monitor in the area of Region XII closer to Punta Arenas confirmed the presence of a number of minefields. Human casualties have never been reported, although the mines have killed some cows. None of the locals consulted considered the minefields a hindrance to economic activity. All the minefields viewed during field research were double-fenced and while some were not very well marked, the minefields were generally better maintained than those in the north of the country.

In 2003, several items of UXO were found in and around the capital of Santiago. On 20 January 2003, a boy discovered a 60-mm rocket launcher in Puente Alto, just south of Santiago, which he brought home, and his father in turn brought it to the police.[56] On 4 February 2003, two rusty mortar projectiles, one active, were found in a backyard in the residential neighborhood of Ñuñoa in Santiago.[57]

Coordination and Planning

Chile’s National Demining Commission (Comisión Nacional del Desminado, CNAD) was established by an official decree on 2 May 2002, officially registered with the Comptroller General’s Office on 18 June 2002, and officially constituted on 19 August 2002.[58] The Ministry of Defense chairs the inter-agency commission.[59] The Ministry of Education has a permanent technical representative that participates at the request of CNAD and the Ministry of Labor is involved in the implementation of the National Demining Plan, although they are not permanent members.[60] CNAD also informed Landmine Monitor that “humanitarian demining is not an issue that should be treated by State institutions exclusively, and it affects all Chileans. In that sense, CNAD will seek to maintain work and informative relations with state organizations and interested NGOs, and when possible will support their activities.”[61]

The purpose of CNAD is to coordinate mine clearance and stockpile destruction efforts, to establish strategies and priorities for the National Demining Plan, and to receive and distribute national budget allocations and any funding from external sources.[62] In August 2002, the government announced that the provision of humanitarian assistance provided to survivors, their families and communities would also be an integral part of CNAD’s work.[63]

CNAD completed the National Demining Plan on 10 January 2003.[64] Information on the plan’s strategies and priorities are periodically made available through presentations and reporting, but the full plan is not accessible to the public.[65] A CNAD official told Landmine Monitor in June 2002 that it intends to start mine removal from the inside out, clearing minefields furthest from the border and closest to inhabited areas first and then moving out toward the borders.[66] As a result of concerns about how Chile will protect its border once the mines have been removed, the government has made it clear in the past that it will carefully study alternative means of protection before initiating the mine removal process.[67]

Mine Clearance

Mine clearance in northern Chile officially began on 3 August 2004 with a ceremony held at the northern end of Chacalluta Airport, 31 kilometers north of Arica in Region I near the Peruvian border. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defense, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, diplomatic representatives (including from Perú and Bolivia), Landmine Monitor and the media. It was estimated that in the first phase of mine clearance it would take eight months for deminers from the Army's VI Division to clear 4,494 antipersonnel mines and 2,032 antivehicle mines from five minefields in the northern sector of the airport.[68] The Ministry of Defense estimated that the clearance of the airport will cost the Ministry and the Chilean Army a total of $575,000. In Region I, the Army’s “Matucana” Regiment No. 6 announced in August 2003 that demining was expected to begin in 2004.[69]

Prior to the start of humanitarian clearance in Region I in August 2004 the only clearance operations underway in the country were in Region V at the Tejas Verdes School of Military Engineers in San Antonio, where a total of 111 antipersonnel mines and 21 antivehicle mines were cleared between 1 September 2003 and 23 June 2004.[70] In August 2004, the project was awaiting an inspection to certify completion of the clearance.[71] During the demining, nine Chilean Army officials and 16 sub-officials participated in a month-long demining training course provided with the assistance of instructors from the Spanish Army’s Hoyo de Manzanares International Demining Center.[72]

In a symbolic act, Chile destroyed 382 M-14 emplaced antipersonnel mines in the Baquedano sector, Region I in November 2002. Chile reported that this clearance was carried for training purposes.[73]

Chile aims to complete demining of the country by its 2011 treaty-mandated ten-year deadline.[74] The government has indicated that it requires outside support to meet its treaty demining obligation (see Mine Action Funding).[75] According to the CNAD, the mine clearance plans will be made public once financial resources to implement it become available and clearance take into account information provided by military, regional and provincial authorities.[76]

According to the CNAD, the Army and Navy have provided engineer units with demining specialists in Arica (Region I), Calama (Region II), San Antonio (Region V) and Punta Arenas (Region XII). The Army has continued to carry out minefield maintenance and demining training, and it is purchasing equipment for the units that will carry out clearance.[77] In June 2003, CNAD reported to Landmine Monitor that over three years 240 deminers had been training to carry out mine clearance operations.[78]

Mine clearance in Chile can be difficult due to factors including the extreme geography, terrain and climate. In the northern Region I, for example, no mine removal can be done in January, February and March due to the torrential rains of the Bolivian winter; while in the extreme south, mine removal can only be done in those same months. During the Landmine Monitor research trip to the Patagonian islands of Nueva and Picton, the Marine official in charge of Navy minefield maintenance said that because of the terrain’s characteristics on the islands (mossy and tundra-like) the mines would not be removed, but rather destroyed in situ with electric wire. This was possible because the Navy had all the original registries that indicate the exact number of mines per field.[79]

Demining along Chile’s northern border with Perú has been raised in several bilateral discussions. On 16 April 2004, Chile and Perú discussed implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and proposals for cooperation during the Third Meeting of the Security and Defense Committee Perú-Chile (COSEDE) in Lima.[80] On 18 November 2003, the Foreign Ministers of Chile and Perú issued a joint declaration that included a decision to promote, within the Security and Defense Committee Perú-Chile (COSEDE), discussions on the eradication of mines emplaced along the common border.[81] On 9 September 2001, the Chile-Perú Permanent Committee on Consultations and Policy Coordination, established July 2001, met for the first time and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of both countries agreed on a ten-point declaration that included a commitment to eradicate landmines from their common border as soon as possible.[82] One of the first activities agreed on was simultaneous stockpile destruction events on 13 September 2001 in Calama, Chile and Pucusana, Perú.[83] Similarly, consultations on the demining of Chile’s border with Bolivia have continued, but no actual mine clearance has begun.[84]

The Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) reported in January 2004 that it has signed an agreement with the Chilean Army to study the possibility of using nuclear technology to detect mines. The study’s first stage has already finished, and consisted of studying the different mines used in Chile and their components, and taking soil samples from the different mined areas in the country.[85]

Mine Risk Education

There are no official mine risk education (MRE) programs currently available in Chile, but the government has reported ten measures used to warn the population about landmine dangers, from fencing to media messages.[86] In February 2003, the Army’s First Division re-released a full-color bilingual (English-Spanish) brochure entitled “Seguridad y Prevención” (Safety and Prevention) that was originally printed in July 2001. The brochure is designed for tourists visiting Region II and is available from local government tourism offices and from the Army regiments. It lists ten ways in which visitors can avoid mine incidents and provides pictures of the different kinds of explosives a visitor may come across. It acknowledges that mines can shift due to heavy rains and recommends that visitors stay on roads at all times. It also provides emergency phone numbers for military regiments and hospitals in the area.[87]

CNAD has told Landmine Monitor that its minefield warning signs meet international standards. When asked about use of indigenous local languages in addition to Spanish, CNAD reported that if deemed convenient signage in the Aymará language is possible, and communal, provincial and regional authorities can solicit CNAD for assistance with the implementation of MRE ampaigns conforming to cultural and linguistic necessities.[88]

The Canadian Embassy in Chile has provided C$4,880 toward production of a comic-style book produced by the Group of Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance Survivors of the Americas (GSMMA, Grupo de Sobrevivientes de Minas AP y Municiones sin Estallar de las Américas).[89]

An environmental youth NGO named Ecoclubes created a thematic working group on landmines at its summer school in early 2003 and has begun a campaign implemented by ten local Ecoclubes in different towns. Landmine Monitor facilitated a training workshop during the Fifth National Meeting of Ecoclubes in Arica from 7-9 November 2003.[90]

In November 1999, the National Foundation for Children’s Rights presided by Senator Mariano Ruiz Ezquide held a seminar on landmines at which it called for the government to begin a mine prevention program.[91] In November 2002, IEP organized a meeting on landmines with mayors of mine-affected municipalities from the north and south of the country.

Mine Action Funding and Assistance

In a May 2003 presentation, the Organization of American States, estimated financial resources and requirements for the period 2003-2007 for the region (mostly Chile and Argentina) at US$2.1 million: $200,000 for 2003; $400,000 for 2004; $500,000 for 2005; $500,000 for 2006; and $500,000 for 2007.[92]

Chile and the OAS signed a framework agreement on 15 September 2003 to cover stockpile destruction-related expenses and provide specialized support for the government to secure international funding for mine clearance.

In October 2003, following a request by CNAD, a team from the US government visited Chile to determine the country’s humanitarian demining needs.[93] It was decided that for now, Chile would qualify for assistance under the Department of Defense Humanitarian Mine Action program, with as yet unspecified provisions for training and small equipment transfers.[94] Chile has discussed its demining assistance needs with other governments, including Slovakia[95] and Nicaragua. Reportedly, in March 2004, Chile and Nicaragua’s Ministers of Defense signed an accord in Santiago to cooperate in mine clearance. [96]

Chile’s CNAD has had some success in negotiating material rather than financial aid to speed along Chile’s demining process.[97] It considers requests of material aid to be more transparent and they generally get speedier responses than financial aid requests. The OAS Office of the General Secretary’s Unit for the Promotion of Democracy donated $150,000 in equipment for demining in Tejas Verdes and Chacalluta, including tool sets, spider boots, hand and chest protectors, visors, shields, and even mobile sleeping units for deminers in Arica.

For 2004, CLP 90,212,000 (approximately $145,000) was approved for CNAD.[98] In 2003, CNAD’s national budget allocation was CLP 88,513,000 (approximately $142,000), but a separate amount of US$129,000 was allocated for stockpile destruction.[99] For 2002, CNAD received a budget allocation of CLP$90 million ($130,000), which essentially covered administrative and start-up costs.[100]

On 4 December 2000, Chile and Ecuador signed an agreement for the Chilean Army to assist with the Ecuadorian clearance program along the border with Perú. In July 2001, the Engineering Command of the Army said that three members of the Engineer Arm of the Chilean Army would travel to Ecuador for a period of four months to assist in the humanitarian demining project on the border between Ecuador and Perú.

In the past, Chile has contributed military personnel to mine clearance efforts of the OAS in Central America.[101] In April 2004, the Minister of Defense told media that Chilean troops participating in a Canadian-led brigade in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been involved in locating minefields.[102]

Landmine Casualties

In 2003, Landmine Monitor identified two civilian landmine/UXO casualties; according to CNAD, there had been no incidents involving military personnel.[103] On 21 March 2003, a 26-year-old Peruvian was injured after stepping on a landmine while entering Chile illegally from Perú through the Quebrada de Escritos pass. He was evacuated by a special unit of army engineers and deminers and after eight hours arrived at the Juan Noé hospital in Arica.[104] On 15 January, in a military zone near Mamiña, a 23-year-old indigenous Aymará man suffered injuries to both hands while handling an explosive that media reported was an antipersonnel mine.[105]

On 4 June 2004, three brothers ages 11, 13, and 14 years were injured when an explosive artifact they had found exploded, causing a serious eye injury to the youngest boy.[106]

In April 2004, CNAD told Landmine Monitor that it had a database of mine/UXO incidents and casualties that was being reviewed.[107]

Between 1999 and 2002, Landmine Monitor identified eight mine/UXO casualties (two killed and six injured) in Chile: one military officer injured in 2002; three civilians injured and a military officer killed in 2001; a Chilean Army conscript injured in 2000; a Peruvian civilian killed and a Chilean Army conscript injured in 1999.[108]

According to Chilean media, between 1976 and 1999, 26 civilians were injured and seven killed by landmines. In the same period, landmines injured 50 Chilean military personnel and killed five.[109]

Landmine Monitor visited several rural towns in northern Chile between 2001 and 2003, and to date identified only one young mine survivor living in Villablanca, three hours walking distance from the “Apacheta de Oje” minefield. Chile’s minefields are so isolated and rural that it is very possible that incidents have happened over the years without being reported.

Survivor Assistance and Disability Policy and Practice

Chilean military personnel injured by mines and UXO receive care in military hospitals. There are no specific services available through the public health system, private health institutions or NGOs for civilian landmine survivors in Chile.[110] The Fondo Nacional de Discapacitados (National Fund for the Disabled) provides social assistance for persons with disabilities.

At the stockpile destruction event in Region I in August 2002, President Lagos recognized the approximately 70 landmine casualties in Chile, and acknowledged that the State has a responsibility for these incidents.[111] At this time, the government announced that assistance to survivors, their families and communities would be an integral part of CNAD’s work.[112] One of the objectives of the CNAD is to coordinate the efforts of various government agencies that deal with mine victim assistance.[113]

On 27 February 2002, Chile ratified the OAS Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities.[114]

The 1994 Law 19,284, Social Integration of Persons with Disabilities (Integración Social de las Personas con Discapacidad), and a series of modifications protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Persons with disability must be registered in the National Disabled Registry in order to receive benefits and services.[115]

According to the CNAD, Law 18.948 of the Armed Forces covers military personnel injured while in service. The law provides for general assistance to injured personnel, not specifically landmine survivors.[116]

In November 2003, Chile participated in a Regional Victim Assistance Seminar in Colombia. A Chilean UXO survivor participated in the Raising the Voices training program in 2001.

[1] Promulga la Convención sobre la Prohibición del Empleo, Almacenamiento, Producción y Transferencia de Minas Antipersonal y sobre su Destrucción, Normas Generales, Diario Oficial Documento 4, 2002, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Subsecretario de Relaciones Exteriores, 9 March 2002.
[2] Response to LM Questionnaire by Col. Rafael Guerra Ibarra, Executive Secretary, National Demining Commission (CNAD), Ministry of National Defense, 26 April 2004.
[3] Ibid; Notes taken by Landmine Monitor (MAC), Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, 9 February 2004. In August 2003, Chile reported that a project for “legal norms for AP mine action” was being considered by the Ministry of the Interior, together with legal advisors from the Ministries of Defense and Justice. Presentation by Chile, Americas Regional Mine Action Seminal, Lima, 14-15 August 2003.
[4] The declaration expressed “satisfaction” with the progress achieved by members of the Mine Ban Treaty, but recommended that states “ratify and comply” with the Convention on Conventional Weapons. The language represented an apparent compromise with the United States, one of the two non-signatories to the Mine Ban Treaty from the region. Fifth Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, “Declaración de Santiago de Chile,” Santiago, 22 November 2002.
[5] The report is dated 30 April 2004 and covers the period from 30 April 2003 to 30 April 2004. See also Article 7 reports submitted: 30 April 2003 (for the period 6 September 2002 – 30 April 2003), and 5 September 2002 (for the period 9 March 2002 – 5 September 2002).
[6] Oral remarks by Chile, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2004 (Landmine Monitor/HRW notes).
[7] Landmine Monitor (MAC) notes taken on interventions by Argentina and Chile, Regional Mine Action Seminar, Quito, 13 August 2004.
[8] IEP has published a series of articles about Chile’s landmine problem on its website, available at www.iepe.org/econoticias .
[9] Landmine Monitor Chile (Dana Holahan, Fabiola Fariña and Louise Egan), “Minas Antipersonal en Chile: Fantasmas del pasado, presente y futuro” (Antipersonnel mines in Chile: Ghosts of the past, present and future), November 2002.
[10] Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, on-line update, 19 November 1999.
[11] US Department of Defense, ORDATA Online, maic.jmu.edu/ordata, accessed on 27 May 2004.
[12] Response to LM Questionnaire by the Foreign Ministry of Chile, through its Ambassador to Uruguay, Amb. Augusto Bermúdez Arancibia, 2 February 1999; Article 7 Report, Form A, 5 September 2002. “declara que, reitera a la comunidad internacional su firme y decidido compromiso asumido desde 1985, de no producir, exportar, importar e instalar nuevas minas terrestres antipersonal.” (Chile reiterates to the international community its firm and decided commitment, made in 1985, not to produce, export, import or lay new landmines).
[13] Declaración Oficial del Gobierno de la República de Chile, “Moratoria Unilateral en la Producción, Exportación, Importación, e Instalación de Nuevas Minas Terrestres Antipersonal,” Santiago, 26 April 1999.
[14] Ecuador’s Article 7 Report, Form B, 29 March 2000. According to the ORDATA online database, it was the MAPP 78 F2 AP blast mine.
[15] US Army, Armament, Munitions, and Chemical Command (USAMCCOM), Letter to Human Rights Watch, 25 August 1993, and attached statistical tables.
[16] See Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003.
[17] Ministry of Defense, “Antecedentes relevantes destrucción de minas antipersonal,” Press Release, 27 August 2002.
[18] Statement by Amb. Luis Winter, Delegation of Chile, Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, 16 September 2003. Amb. Winter, himself a landmine survivor, in Bangkok donated a book written during his own personal process of rehabilitation, “Acepta las Piedras del Camino” (Accept the Stones on the Road).
[19] Article 7 Report, Form G, 3 June 2004. Chile’s Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2003, cited a stockpile of 213,076 antipersonnel mines. Due to an error in addition, Chile’s September 2002 report cited a stockpile of 211,076 mines. Article 7 Report, Form B, 5 September 2002.
[20] Notes taken by Landmine Monitor researcher, Regional Seminar on Stockpile Destruction in the Americas, Buenos Aires, 6 November 2000.
[21] Article 7 Report, Form F, 5 September 2002. For details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 172.
[22] Article 7 Report, Form F, 5 September 2002. Destroyed were 71,635 M-14s, 4,603 M-35s, and 150 MAPP 78-F2s. Landmine Monitor Chile researchers attended the destruction. After the event, the Defense Ministry issued a press release denying that any antivehicle mines had been destroyed, as had been incorrectly reported by the local press. Ministry of Defense, “Ministerio de Defensa Nacional desmiente destrucción de minas antitanque,” Press Release, 28 August 2002.
[23] These were M-14, 78-F2, MOD 1 and IEC II mines. Article 7 Report, Form F, 30 April 2003; intervention by Col. Rafael Guerra, CNAD, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 15 May 2003 (Landmine Monitor/MAC notes); Defense Ministry official destruction certificate, “Acta de Destrucción,” Las Bandurrias, Coyhaique, XI Región, 8 May 2003.
[24] The 72,600 antipersonnel mines destroyed were: 34,972 M-14; 4,004 FAMAE PR (not included in the list of stockpiled mines); 5,054 M-35; 15,937 Cardoen Mod. I; 9,689 Cardoen Mod. II; 817 Cardoen M-178; and 2,127 MAPP 78-F2 mines. Article 7 Report, Form F, 30 April 2003; “Ejército destruye 2.860 minas antipersonales en zona austral,” ORBE (Punta Arenas), 25 April 2003; “Chile destruye minas antipersonales y mejora relación vecinal” Reuters (Punta Arenas), 10 May 2003; Ministry of Defense, “Ministra de Defensa Nacional Encabeza Destrucción de Todas las Minas Antipersonal en Stock en la XI Región,” Press Release, 8 May 2003; Ministry of Defense, “Ministra de Defensa Nacional Encabeza Destrucción de la Totalidad de las Minas Antipersonal de la Zona Austral,” Press Release, 9 May 2003.
[25] For details on the number of mine types see Article 7 Report, Form G, 3 June 2004.
[26] See Ministry of Defense, “Ministra Michelle Bachelet ordena nueva destrucción de minas antipersonal en diversos puntos del país,” Press Release, 5 August 2003; “Chile comienza destrucción de otras 97 mil minas antipersonales,” El Mostrador (Santiago), 5 August 2003; “Eliminarán mas de 7 mil minas antipersonales en I° Región,” El Mostrador, 10 August 2003; “Ejército prepara traslado de minas,” La Estrella de Arica, 15 August 2003; Ministry of Defense, “Ministra Bachelet encabezó destrucción final de totalidad de minas antipersonal almacenadas,” Press Release, 25 August 2003.
[27] OAS, “Chile-OAS Framework Agreement will boost mine-clearing,” Press Release E-177/0315 September 2003.
[28] Article 7, Form J, Sections 3 and 4, 3 June 2004.
[29] Chile had initially stated that 28,647 mines would be retained. See Article 7 Report, Form D, 5 September 2002. At the February 2003 Standing Committee meetings, Chile reported that it was reducing the number to a total of 18,656 mines, but this number was also under revision. In its second Article 7 report, Chile reported a further reduction to 6,245 mines, consisting of: 2,023 M-14, 1,643 MAPP 78-F2, 835 M-35, 561 MOD I, 437 MOD II, 400 MOD. IEC-II, 200 MAPT 78-F2, 100 M-178, 41 M-2 A4, four M-16, and one M-16 A-1. See Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 April 2003.
[30] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[31] This number is 782 more mines than the 122,661 total reported in Chile’s September 2002 Article 7 report, accounted by an additional 1,194 M-14 mines in Sector Noreste de Arica (Region I); 382 fewer M-14 mines in Sector Baquedano in the northern zone that was not listed again; and 30 fewer M-14 AP mines in Sector Cerro Inacaliri in Region II. The 382 M-14 AP mines in Sector Baquedano in the northern zone were reportedly cleared in November 2002. See Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 30 April 2003; Article 7 Report, Form C, Table 1, 3 June 2004.
[32] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 393-394 and footnotes for details.
[33] Article 7 Report, Form C, 5 September 2002.
[34] Article 7, Form C, 3 June 2004.
[35] “Financiamiento detiene desminado,” La Estrella de Arica (Arica), 10 April 2001; telephone interview with Elir Rojas, Andes Sur Action Team, 3 May 2001. For a detailed description of mined areas in Regions I and II, see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 395-397.
[36] Presentations made by Col. Guerra, CNAD, at the “¡Minas Antipersonal!...¿problemática latente en nuestras fronteras?” seminar in Iquique, 28 April 2003 and at a class given to journalists studying to be peace operations correspondents at the War Academy Joint Center for Peace Operations on 5 December 2003.
[37] “Destruirán 50 mil minas terrestres,” El Mercurio de Antofagasta, 14 May 2003.
[38] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 395-399 for research carried out in February 2001 in Region I and II; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 172-173 for research carried out in Region I, II and XII in January and March 2002; and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 168-170 for research carried out in Region I, II, V, and XII between November 2002 and March 2003.
[39] Landmine Monitor has photographs of the exposed mines, Quebrada de Escritos, 16 March 2004.
[40] Landmine Monitor field visit to Quebrada de Escritos, 16 March 2004.
[41] Landmine Monitor field visit to Iquique, 15 March 2004. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 168.
[42] Interview with Mayor Carlos Reygada, Ollagüe, 9 March 2004. See also previous field visits in Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 168-170.
[43] Interview with Eduardo Rodríguez, Chief of Wildlife Patrimony, Conaf Region II, Antofagasta, 12 March 2004.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Interview with Iván Pérez, Paramedic, San Pedro Hospital, 11 March 2004 and interview with Carlos Torres, owner of San Pedro Hotel, 11 March 2004.
[46] Interview with Hugo Miranda, Administrator, Municipality of San Pedro de Atacama, 11 March 2004.
[47] Fax from Carlos Weber, Executive Director, Conaf, 27 July 2001. See also, “Urgencia Humanitaria,” El Diario Austral de Osorno, 14 November 2000.
[48] Interview with Lt. Col. Fernando Romero, Topater Regiment, Calama, 9 March 2004.
[49] Interview with Gustavo Herrera, Sernatur Acting Director for Region II, Antofagasta, 6 March 2004. See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 169 for a previous field visit to Chacabuco.
[50] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[51] Information provided by Lt. Col. Fernando Romero, Topater Regiment, 9 March 2004. The shell was found after information was provided by Dr. Enrique Larenas, father of a UXO survivor.
[52] “Peligroso mortero descubren en Megapuerto,” El Mercurio de Antofagasta, 27 March 2003.
[53] “Detonan proyectil de guerra en quebrada,” El Mercurio de Antofagasta, 3 February 2003.
[54] Article 7 Report, Form C, 5 September 2002.
[55] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 169-170.
[56] “Joven encuentra cohete antitanque en Puente Alto,” Diario El Mostrador, 21 January 2003.
[57] “Hallan dos proyectiles en patio de Ñuñoa,” Las Últimas Noticias (Santiago), 5 February 2003.
[58] Ministry of Defense, Press Release, 27 August 2002.
[59] Interview with Col. Rafael Guerra, CNAD, 18 March 2003.
[60] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[61] Ibid.
[62] Interview with Ramón Hormazábal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Santiago, 22 November 2001; interview with Col. Patricio Rojas, Ministry of Defense, Santiago, 23 January 2002.
[63] Ministry of Defense, Press Release, 27 August 2002.
[64] Interview with Col. Rafael Guerra, CNAD, 18 March 2003.
[65] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[66] Interview with Col. Patricio Rojas, CNAD, Santiago, 26 June 2002.
[67] “Gobierno analiza refuerzo de seguridad fronteriza tras retiro de minas,” Radio Cooperativa (Santiago), 10 October 2002.
[68] “Chile comienza a cumplir con el desminado,” La Estrella de Arica, 4 August 2004; Ministry of Defence, “Ministra de Defensa Nacional encabeza operación de levantamiento de campos minados en zonas fronterizas,” Press Release, 31 July 2004.
[69] “Eliminarán más de 7 mil minas antipersonales en I° Región,” El Mostrador, 10 August 2003.
[70] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[71] Interview with Col. Rafael Guerra, CNAD, 6 August 2004.
[72] Article 7, Form J, Section 1, 3 June 2004.
[73] Article 7 Report, Forms F and G, 30 April 2003.
[74] Intervention by CNAD, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, 15 May 2003.
[75] Ibid.
[76] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[77] Ibid.
[78] Interview with Col. Rafael Guerra, CNAD, 10 June 2003.
[79] Interview with Sub-Official Pino, Isla Nueva and Isla Picton, 7 February 2003. Information about the Navy’s registries was also officially provided by the Navy in a letter from Third Naval Zone Commander in Chief Rear Admiral Arturo Ojeda Zernott, dated 7 March 2002.
[80] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Perú, “III Reunión del Comité de Seguridad y Defensa Perú-Chile (COSEDE),” Press Release 189-04, 16 April 2004.
[81] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile and Perú, Joint Declaration, 18 November 2003.
[82] “Cancilleres y ministros de defensa de Perú y Chile acuerdan erradicar minas,” Agence France Presse (Lima), 9 September 2001.
[83] “Dan primer paso reducir gastos militares,” El Comercio (Lima), 10 September 2001; “Ejército destruye 14.000 minas antipersonales en el norte de Chile,” Agence France Presse (Calama), 13 September 2001.
[84] There was one report that on 9 December 1999, Chilean deminers had cleared an area of 13,500 square meters in Portezuelo de Tambo Quemado near the Bolivian border, destroying 250 M-14 antipersonnel mines and 27 M-15 antivehicle mines. “Concluyo primera operacion de desminado,” El Mercurio (Santiago), 4 December 1999; “277 landmines destroyed,” MISNA (Tambo Quemado), 9 December 1999. According to CNAD, there were no clearance operations along the border with Bolivia. Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[85] Boletín de la Comisión Chilena de Energía Nuclear, “Minas antipersonales pueden detectarse con técnicas nucleares,” January 2004.
[86] Article 7 Report, Form I, 5 September 2002.
[87] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 174-175; and Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 173 including details of the 2002/2003 summer safety campaign.
[88] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[89] Canadian Landmine Fund, “Reclaiming Land, Rebuilding Lives, 2002-2003,” p. 20; Also see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 173.
[90] Landmine Monitor researcher Dana Holahan participated in the meeting in November 2003 and facilitated the workshop on landmines in Chile.
[91] Fundación por los Derechos del Niño, “Acuerdo de Compromiso y Tareas para la Prevención y Asistencia en Comunas con Zonas Minadas,” Valparaíso, 15 November 1999.
[92] OAS, “Mine Action Program: Making the Western Hemisphere landmine-safe,” Resource Mobilization: Projection of Financial Resources/Requirements 2003-2007, p. 6. Presentation at the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 12 May 2003.
[93] The assessment team met with Landmine Monitor researchers Dana Holahan and Fabiola Fariña, who provided their view of Chile’s demining needs and priorities and presented the team with a document entitled “Documento de opinión acerca de la situación de minas terrestres antipersonal en Chile” (Opinion paper about the antipersonnel mine situation in Chile). Article 7, Form J, Section 3, 3 June 2004.
[94] Email from Jeffrey Galvin, Second Secretary, US Embassy Santiago, Santiago, 20 April 2004.
[95] In May 2004, media reported that Slovak Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok visited Chile and reportedly discussed a demining project for Chile with María Soledad Alvear, Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Discussed a Mine Clearing Contract with Chile,” Slovenska Tlacova Agentura (Bratislava), 6 May 2004.
[96] “Nicaragua, Chile sign accord to remove landmines,” EFE (Santiago), 16 March 2004.
[97] Article 7, Form J, Section 2, 30 April 2004.
[98] US Dollar amounts calculated at the rate of CLP$622=US$1, 1 June 2004.
[99] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[100] In 2001-2003 the Chilean peso fluctuated from CLP$650=US$1 to CLP$800:US$1.
[101] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 292.
[102] Ministry of Defense, “Declaraciones de la Ministra de Defensa Nacional, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, en conferencia telefónica con los medios de comunicación,” Press Release, 24 April 2004.
[103] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[104] “Le explotó mina a ‘burrero’ peruano,” La Estrella de Arica, 22 March 2003; “Peruano narco sufre amputación por mina,” Las Últimas Noticias, 22 March 2003.
[105] “Joven herido por mina antipersonal,” La Estrella de Iquique, 15 January 2003; “Mina antipersonal hirió a aymará de Chile,” AFP (Santiago), 15 January 2003.
[106] “Grave menor herido por explosivos,” Estrella del Norte (Antofagasta), 4 June 2004.
[107] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[108] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 172-173; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 175; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 401-402; Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 312.
[109] “Ejército confirma intención de retirar minas antipersonales,” La Hora (Santiago), 25 November 1999.
[110] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 312 and Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 402.
[111] “Chile iniciará retiro de minas en frontera con el Perú,” El Peruano (Lima, Perú), 9 September 2002.
[112] Ministry of Defense, Press Release, 27 August 2002.
[113] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.
[114] OAS, “Chile ratifica convención Interamericana para eliminar discriminación contra discapacitados,” Press Release, 27 February 2002.
[115] For more information see entry on Chile in Center for International Rehabilitation, “International Disability Rights Monitor,” available at www.cirnetwork.org/idrm/index.cfm# .
[116] Response by CNAD, 26 April 2004.