Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty
National implementation measures
Has not drafted new implementation measures
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified on 14 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999.
Venezuela has not adopted national implementation legislation stipulating penal sanctions for treaty violations, maintaining that domestic legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty is not necessary because international treaties ratified by the government automatically become national law.
In April 2011, Venezuela submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report for the period from April 2010 to April 2011.Venezuela has provided eight previous reports.
On 21 September 2009, the Ministry of People’s Power for Defense (Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Defensa) issued Resolution 012281 to create a demining committee in the National Armed Forces.
Venezuela attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010 and intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2011, where it made statements on mine clearance.
Venezuela is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. Venezuela has never submitted an annual report as required by the protocol’s Article 13. Venezuela is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.
Venezuela has reported that it laid 1,074 antipersonnel mines around six naval bases between April 1995 and March 1997, one of which was subsequently accidentally detonated. In 2007, Venezuela made statements indicating that it was still making active use of these emplaced antipersonnel mines, which is inconsistent with the Article 1 ban on use. During 2007 and 2008, the ICBL repeatedly stated its concern that Venezuela was purposefully keeping its antipersonnel mines in place in order to derive military benefit from them, and was not, as required by the treaty, clearing them as soon as possible.
Since 2008, Venezuela has stressed other factors—such as dense vegetation, rough weather, and safety concerns—to explain why it has not yet cleared its antipersonnel mines (see the Mine Action section of this Country Profile). In June 2008, Venezuela stated that it was not using mines for defensive purposes, even though there are still “anti-state actors” across its border with Colombia. In June 2011, Venezuela said it would complete clearance ahead of its revised deadline, in the first quarter of 2013.
The Colombian rebel group the National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN), a known producer and user of antipersonnel mines, appears to maintain a presence in Venezuela. In October 2009, the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira said that four ELN camps exist inside Tachira. Mine incidents attributed to the ELN have taken place very close to the border on the Colombian side.
Production, transfer, stockpiling, and destruction
Venezuela has stated that it has not produced antipersonnel mines. It is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. Venezuela previously obtained antipersonnel mines manufactured by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia.
In its April 2011 Article 7 report, Venezuela stated that it is retaining 4,874 PMA-3 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes, held by the Ministry of Defense. This is 86 mines fewer than previously reported. According to the report, the army destroyed 86 PMA-3 mines (lot numbers 02-88) on 27 October 2010 and 13 November 2010 in training exercises that involved manual demining and minefield breeching. In November 2010, Venezuela declared that it intends to destroy another 300 mines in similar exercises in 2011.
 Venezuela restated this view forcefully during the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2008, in response to an ICRC presentation on Article 9 (national implementation measures). Venezuela said that all ratified international treaties are of the highest domestic legal standing—that of the constitution. The ICRC replied that a specific law was still desirable for various Mine Ban Treaty provisions, such as the Article 3 exception for retained mines and Article 8 provisions on fact-finding missions. Oral Remarks by Venezuela, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 6 June 2008. Notes by the Monitor.
 Venezuela submitted previous reports in April 2010, on 6 July 2009, in April 2008, in April 2007, on 26 April 2006, 4 July 2005, 1 May 2003, and 10 September 2002. It also submitted a one-page letter to the UN on 25 November 2003, confirming completion of stockpile destruction. The initial report, due 1 March 2000, was two-and-a-half years late.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, April 2010.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2008; and email from Yaneth Arocha, First Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 June 2005. The 1,073 number (1,074 minus the accidental detonation) is the number used in the Article 7 reports submitted in 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005, which was a revised total from the figure of 1,036 used in the report submitted in 2003. Venezuela has reported different dates of emplacement in Article 7 reports. Most notably, Venezuela reported mines were last laid in March 1997 in its Article 7 report submitted on 26 April 2006 while the Article 7 report submitted on 1 May 2003 reports that mines were last laid in May 1998, the latter date being five months after Venezuela signed the Mine Ban Treaty.
 Statement of ICBL, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 April 2007. The ICBL repeated these concerns in a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated 18 July 2007, in statements at the Eighth Meeting of States Parties on 18 and 22 November 2007, and in several meetings with Venezuelan officials during 2007.
 See Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 28 March 2008; Mien Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form I, April 2008; statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 4 June 2008; statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 27 May 2009; and statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 22 June 2010.
 Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 4 June 2008.
 Statement of Venezuela, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education, and Mine Action Technologies, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 20–22 June 2011. Notes by the ICBL.
 Ashley Hamer, “ELN has four guerrilla camps in Venezuela: Governor Monday,” Colombia Reports, 26 October 2009, colombiareports.com.
 “4 Soldiers killed, 2 civilians wounded in Colombia mine field,” EFE News Service (Bogota), 17 May 2009.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form H, April 2008; and previous Article 7 reports.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 1 May 2003.
 Letter from the Permanent Mission of Venezuela to the UN in Geneva, to the UN Conference on Disarmament Secretariat, 25 November 2003. The 47,189 mines were more than previously reported as held in stock. In September 2002, Venezuela reported a stockpile of 22,136 antipersonnel mines, but in May 2003 reported a revised total of 46,136 antipersonnel mines. See Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Reports, Form B, 1 May 2003; and Form B, 10 September 2002.
 Venezuela’s 1 May 2003 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, listed the types and quantities for 46,136 mines still held in stock.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, April 2011.
 In its Article 7 reports issued in the period from 2004 to 2010, Venezuela reported a total of 4,960 PMA-3 antipersonnel mines.
 Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form F, April 2011.
 Statement of Venezuela, Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 29 November–3 December 2010.