Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 November 2022


The Republic of Colombia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 6 September 2000. Colombia became a State Party on 1 March 2001.

Law 759 took effect on 25 July 2002 and serves as Colombia’s national implementing legislation for the Mine Ban Treaty.[1] Colombia reports that activities prohibited by the treaty are criminalized under its Penal Code.[2] Colombia has also enacted laws on victim assistance, land restitution, and mine clearance.[3]

Colombia has submitted twenty-one Article 7 transparency reports since 2002, with its most recent report provided on 23 May 2022.[4]

Colombia has participated in every meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty, and hosted its Second Review Conference in Cartagena in November–December 2009.[5] Most recently, it attended the Nineteenth Meeting of States Parties held virtually in November 2021, and the intersessional meetings held in Geneva in June 2022.

Colombia has made significant contributions to the Mine Ban Treaty at the highest levels, and is serving as President of the Twentieth Meeting of States Parties in November 2022.[6]

Colombia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines, and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war (ERW). Colombia is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling

Colombia’s State Military Industry (Industria Militar, INDUMIL) ended production of antipersonnel landmines in September 1998, and destroyed its production equipment on 18 November 1999.[7]

The government of Colombia is not known to have ever exported antipersonnel mines.

Colombia completed the destruction of its stockpile of 18,531 antipersonnel mines on 24 October 2004.[8]

Colombia no longer retains any mines for training purposes. In 2014, Colombia reported that it had destroyed its previously retained 586 MAP-1 mines.[9]


There is no evidence that Colombian government forces have used antipersonnel mines since the Mine Ban Treaty’s adoption.

Use by non-state armed groups

Colombia has detailed at least 12 different types of mines produced by non-state armed groups (NSAGs), including antipersonnel, antivehicle, and Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines, some fitted with antihandling devices.[10] Its Article 7 report submitted in 2022 reiterated that antipersonnel landmines are made and used both by organized armed groups, and by criminal enterprises involved in the manufacture of narcotics and in illegal mineral extraction.[11]

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo, FARC-EP or FARC), National Liberation Army (Unión Camilista-Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN), Popular Liberation Army (El Ejército Popular de Liberación, EPL), and other NSAGs continue to produce and use antipersonnel landmines.

The Colombian government’s Office of the High Commissioner for Peace attributed responsibility for 216 antipersonnel mine events from January–December 2021 to residual or dissident FARC forces, with another 77 events attributed to the ELN. In the same period, 20 events were attributed to other armed groups, while 54 events occurred where the responsible group was unknown. In total, 367 new mine events were reported in Colombia during 2021.

There were numerous additional reports up to mid-2022 of military and civilian casualties caused by landmines in Antioquia, Bolivar, Cauca, Chocó, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, and Valle del Cauca. These are all areas where armed conflict was ongoing between the National Army of Colombia and NSAGs. It is difficult to determine precisely when these mines were laid.[12]

From January–July 2022, the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace registered 232 landmine events involving new use. It attributed 58 incidents to the ELN, 139 to FARC, and 14 to other actors, while stating that responsibility could not be determined for the remaining 21 events.[13]

New antipersonnel mine contamination was reported in Balboa municipality, in Cauca department, in July–August 2022, following fighting between FARC and another armed group. The area had previously been cleared of mines by CCCM.[14]

In September 2021, seven communities in Dabeiba, in Antioquia department, reported ongoing antipersonnel landmine use amid fighting between the ELN and Autodefensas Gaitanistas (AGC), confining 1,200 people and denying access to farmland.[15] Mines were also reportedly used during conflict between the ELN and AGC in Medio San Juan, in Chocó department, in January 2022.[16] Landmine injuries were reported during armed conflict between AGC and ELN in Cúcuta, in Norte de Santander department, in January 2022.[17]

Between late 2021 and mid-2022, numerous media reports detailed new mine use and seizures of improvised mines. Colombia’s military discovered a cache of 1,984 improvised mines in Puerto Concordia, in Meta department, in May 2022.[18] A cache of FARC mines was also discovered in Meta department in September 2021, while it was also reported that FARC rebels had emplaced improvised mines in trees.[19]

The government of Colombia signed a final peace agreement with FARC on 24 November 2016, which commits both parties to end the conflict and build peace, including via landmine clearance.[20] Yet in 2019, some FARC dissidents abandoned the peace agreement and resumed armed activities against the government.[21] More recently, former FARC fighters have reportedly begun providing information on areas mined during the armed conflict to the Colombian authorities, under the framework of the 2016 peace agreement.[22]

CCCM uses radio messages, face-to-face workshops on risk prevention, and written materials in its work to provide warnings about the threat posed by landmines, and urges NSAGs to stop using them.[23] In August 2021, a CCCM clearance team working in Puerto Leguizamo municipality, in Putumayo department, was approached by a dissident FARC group who told deminers that they would not interfere with demining activities, but would not stop using antipersonnel mines.[24]

[1] For details on penal sanctions and other aspects of Law 759, see Colombia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 6 May 2005. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database; and ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005) p. 255.

[2] Colombia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form A.

[3] ICBL-CMC, “Country Profile: Colombia: Mine Action,” updated 11 December 2017.

[4] Colombia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2021). Colombia submitted its initial transparency report on 15 March 2002 and has provided updated annual Article 7 reports each year since.

[5] Colombia participated in the treaty’s review conferences held in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019, and has attended every Meeting of States Parties, in addition to all intersessional meetings.

[6] Amb. Alicia Victoria Arango Olmos initially served in this role following her election at the Nineteenth Meeting of States Parties. However, Amb. Olmos resigned the presidency “[d]ue to unforeseen personal circumstances” in May 2022. She was replaced by Amb. Alvaro Enrique Ayala Melendez.

[7] Monitor interviews with Sergio Rodríguez, Second Technical Manager, INDUMIL, 5 July 2000 and 24 July 2001. As of 2001, INDUMIL was still producing Claymore-type directional fragmentation mines. Colombia stated that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode, as permitted by the Mine Ban Treaty. However, Colombia has not reported on steps it has taken to ensure that these mines are used only in command-detonated mode.

[8] In addition to the 18,531 mines destroyed, the government reported three other destructions of a total of 3,404 antipersonnel mines. For details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, July 2006), p. 302.

[9] Colombia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2013), Form D, pg 13.

[10] Presentation by the Colombian Armed Forces, “Desarrollo Compromiso con la Convención de Ottawa” (“Development Commitment with the Ottawa Convention”), Bogotá, 6 March 2006. Antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) manufactured by armed groups are constructed out of everything from glass bottles to plastic jerry cans. The explosive used is normally ANFO (made from fertilizer), but sometimes is a conventional explosive such as TNT. The mines are initiated by pressure-activated syringe fuzes (chemical initiation), battery-operated fuzes, and electric fuzes activated by both pressure and tripwires. These mines often have high levels of metal fragmentation in them.

[11] The bodies of the improvised antipersonnel mines are primarily non-metallic, using both commercial high explosives as well as improvised explosives from agricultural chemicals, and are activated by either electronic or chemical detonators. Most are activated by pressure, though some are activated by tension [trip] wires. Colombia Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2021), pp. 66–68.

[12] See, for example, Michell Francois Romoleroux, “Cuatro soldados, gravemente heridos por activación de explosivo en Cauca” (“Four soldiers seriously injured by explosive activation in Cauca”), El Tiempo, 9 March 2022. Details of several other incidents are outlined in data compiled by CCCM for Landmine Monitor 2022.

[13] Updated information according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, sourced from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights database of events by MAP/MUSE.

[14] Email from Camilo Ernesto Serna V, Deputy Director, CCCM, 29 August 2022.

[15] Local clergy claim that this confinement is meant to keep the villagers as human shields to prevent attack. See, “Crisis humanitaria en Dabeiba: hay cerca de 1.000 indígenas desplazados” (“Humanitarian crisis in Dabeiba: there are nearly 1,000 displaced indigenous people”), Infobae, 29 September 2021.

[16] See, “Alerta en Chocó: Conflicto entre ELN y Clan del Golfo ha desplazado a más de 1.500 personas” (“Alert in Chocó: Conflict between ELN and Clan del Golfo has displaced more than 1,500 people”), Infobae, 18 January 2022; and “Joven indígena resultó herido por mina antipersonal en Chocó” (“Young indigenous man was injured by antipersonnel mine in Chocó”), Radio Nacional, 9 February 2022.

[17]Agricultor pisó una mina en la zona rural de Cúcuta” (“Farmer stepped on a mine in the rural area of Cúcuta”), Vanguardia, 17 January 2022.

[18] Colombian Armed Forces press release, “Fuerza de Tarea Conjunta 'Omega' ubicó depósito ilegal con casi dos mil minas antipersonales” (“Joint Task Force Omega Located Illegal Deposit With Almost Two Thousand Antipersonnel Mines”), 10 May 2022.

[19] Alicia Liliana Mendez, “Minas antipersonal en árboles: la brutal práctica para asesinar a militares” (“Antipersonnel mines in trees: the brutal practice to assassinate soldiers”), El Tiempo, 26 September 2021.

[20]Acuerdo Final para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de una Paz Estable y Duradera” (“Final Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Construction of a Stable and Lasting Peace”),, p. 24, November 2016. Subsequently, an October 2017 ceasefire agreement between the government of Colombia and the ELN included a commitment not to use antipersonnel landmines, however the ceasefire expired without renewal in 2018. “Colombia Cease-Fire Agreement Takes Effect Sunday,” Voice of America (VOA), 30 September 2017. See also, Adriaan Alsima, “Colombia’s ELN rebels blame government for failure to agree to ceasefire,” Colombia Reports, 2 July 2018.

[21] Megan Janetsky, “Ex-FARC leaders’ return to arms brings back memories of bloodshed,” Al Jazeera, 30 August 2019.

[22] For example, In December 2021, a former FARC member provided information on the location of antipersonnel mines laid during fighting in Magdalena Medio. See, “Exguerrilleros informaron sobre minas antipersonal en Colombia” (“Alert in the south of Bolivar due to the presence of paramilitaries”), Prensa Latina, 20 December 2021.

[23] Email from Luz Estela Navas, Development Coordinator, CCCM, 18 August 2022.

[24] Report provided to the Monitor by Camilo Ernesto Serna, Sub-Director, CCCM, 31 August 2021. In April 2022, a CCCM non-technical survey team was approached by two unidentified armed men, who detained and searched them before letting them go. In May 2022, two CCCM demining vehicles were destroyed by an armed group, but no staff were harmed.