Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 30 October 2011


Argentina signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 14 December 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 June 2000. Argentina has not enacted domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty. In the past, Argentina has indicated that it was studying ways to incorporate penalties on the use, stockpiling, production or transferring of antipersonnel mines into Argentina law.[1] Law No. 4745/01 prohibits the use of antipersonnel mines by the armed forces.[2]

Argentina submitted its 14th Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in April 2011.

Argentina attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, as well as the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011.

Argentina is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war, and submitted its Article 13 report for Amended Protocol II in April 2011.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention

Argentina is a former producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines. Production took place at the General Directorate of Military Industries (Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares) of the Ministry of Defense. Argentina has stated it produced only one type of antipersonnel mine, the FMK-1 plastic blast mine, at the “Fray Luis Beltrán” factory between 1976 and 1990, manufacturing 18,970 FMK-1 mines during this period.[3] Equipment formerly used for production is now being used to make reinforced fuzes, detonators for grenades, estopines (initiators), and other items.[4] According to the United States (US) Department of Defense, Argentina had manufactured two other types of antipersonnel mines: the MAPG pressure or tripwire-initiated mine and the MAPPG bounding mine.[5] The government never officially declared production of these mines which date from the 1940s/1950s, but an official said the mines could have been imported and re-catalogued to make their identification easier.[6]

Based on Article 7 reports and mines found in the Malvinas/Falkland Islands, Argentina imported antipersonnel mines from Libya (MAP and TRA), Israel (Number 4), Italy (SB-33), and Spain (P4B). Argentina exported nearly 3,000 FMK-1 antipersonnel mines to Honduras. An export moratorium was instituted in March 1995, which has since been superseded by the Mine Ban Treaty. Argentina sold weapons to Croatia, including 5,750 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines several months before the moratorium was instituted.[7]

Argentina formerly possessed a stockpile, but on 4 December 2003, Argentina completed the destruction of its 90,919 antipersonnel mines.[8] Argentina originally indicated it would retain 13,025 mines for training, but decided to convert most of these mines to inert “exercise mines.” At the end of 2010, Argentina reported that it retains 1,046 mines, after destroying 96 during training exercises in 2010.[9]


Argentina last used landmines during the Malvinas/Falkland Islands war in 1982, and it has stated that the islands are the only mine-affected part of Argentina (see also United Kingdom Country Profile). According to Argentina’s May 2001 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, 20,000 EXPAL P-4-B, and FMK-1 antipersonnel mines were laid during the 1982 conflict.[10] In July 2002, it added SB-33 antipersonnel mines to the list of mines it used in the islands.[11]

During the confrontation with Chile in 1978, the Chilean army laid mines along the border; it is unknown whether the Argentine army laid mines as well.[12]


[1] Interview with Santiago Villalba, Secretary, Direction of International Safety, Nuclear and Space Affairs Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Buenos Aires, 19 December 2000, and successive Article 7 reports, Form A.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 23 July 2002.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 12 May 2003. The April 2004 Article 7 report does not include Form E.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, 12 May 2003.

[5] US Department of Defense, “Mine Facts,” CD-ROM.

[6] Email from Mariela Adriana Fogante, DIGAN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 October 2004.

[7] Lawrence Whelan, “Latin arms shipped to Croatia,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 1 August 1996, p. 14. The government said that the final destinations of the weapons were supposed to be Panama and Venezuela, and it had been deceived by an intermediary company which had coordinated the operation. But federal justice authorities ordered the arrest of former executives of the company, which is publicly-owned, and the former Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministers were charged.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 April 2004.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 15 April 2011.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 23 July 2002. The previous year, Argentina reported that it had laid 20,000 P4B and FMK-1 antipersonnel mines during the conflict. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 30 August 2000.

[11] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form C, 23 July 2002.

[12] Interview with Osvaldo Gazzola, Advisor, Office of Congressmen Alfredo Bravo and Jorge Rivas, 14 February 2000.