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Table of Contents
Country Reports
Nicaragua, Landmine Monitor Report 2004

Nicaragua

Key developments since May 2003: Between March 2003 and March 2004, 376,517 square meters of land were cleared, and 14,451 landmines and 27,033 UXO were destroyed. In 2003, a total of 24,765 people in 102 high-risk communities received mine risk education. The OAS reports that the “Safe Steps without Mines” program has evolved into a permanent preventative mine risk education initiative with national coverage. New minefields are still being discovered; Nicaragua reported that as of 31 December 2003, it had cleared a total of 10,054 unregistered antipersonnel mines reported by the civilian population. In August 2003, Nicaragua sent a contingent of deminers to Iraq, generating considerable controversy. Nicaragua has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration since September 2003. Nicaragua is acting as Friend of the President-designate of the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, assisting with the preparatory process.

Key developments since 1999: The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Nicaragua on 1 May 1999. National implementation legislation was signed into law on 7 December 1999. Nicaragua destroyed its stockpile of 133,435 antipersonnel mines between April 1999 and August 2002, finishing well in advance of its treaty-mandated deadline of May 2003. Nicaragua hosted and was President of the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2001 and served as Chair of the Coordinating Committee in 2001-2002. Nicaragua served as co-rapporteur then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration from May 1999 to September 2001. It assumed the role of co-rapporteur of that committee again in September 2003.

Nicaragua completed clearance of its border with Costa Rica in September 2002. In March 2003, Nicaragua reported the completion of mine clearance in the departments of Boaco, Chinandega, Chontales and Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur. From 1990 to May 2004, a total of 3,800,928 square meters of land was cleared, destroying 107,556 mines and 555,339 UXO. Nicaragua has concluded mine clearance operations in fifty-eight municipalities, benefiting 1,979,675 inhabitants. In June 2004, Nicaragua reported that donors have contributed more than $30 million to the national demining plan, as well as significant in-kind support. The OAS reports that from 2001 to June 2004, 91,293 people received mine risk education in Nicaragua. As of June 2004, the OAS had registered 753 landmine/UXO casualties in the country since 1980, of which 73 people were killed and 680 injured.

Mine Ban Policy

Nicaragua signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 30 November 1998, and the treaty entered into force on 1 May 1999. National implementation legislation, Law 321, was signed into law on 7 December 1999; it includes penal sanctions for violations.[1] Nicaragua was one of the early backers of a mine ban, announcing its support for an immediate, comprehensive prohibition on antipersonnel landmines in July 1995. Nicaragua actively participated in the Ottawa Process, including in the Oslo negotiations. It has voted in support of every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003.[2]

Nicaragua has played an important role in the Mine Ban Treaty work program, and more generally in efforts to universalize and promote full implementation of the treaty. In September 2001, Nicaragua hosted the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Managua, the largest diplomatic meeting ever held in the country. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Francisco Xavier Aguirre Sacasa, was elected president of the meeting, a role held until September 2002. As president, Nicaragua chaired the Coordinating Committee of States Parties. Nicaragua served as co-rapporteur then co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration from May 1999 to September 2001. It assumed the role of co-rapporteur of that committee again in September 2003, and is in line to become co-chair in December 2004. Nicaragua is currently one of six States Parties acting as Friend of the President-designate of the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, assisting with the preparatory process and the drafting of conference documents.

Nicaragua has attended every meeting of States Parties, as well as every intersessional Standing Committee meeting. Regionally, Nicaragua hosted a mine action meeting in August 2002, and it has participated in other regional meetings, including in a victim assistance seminar in Bogotá, Colombia in November 2003, a mine action seminar in Lima, Perú in August 2003, and a seminar on stockpile destruction in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November 2000.

On 28 April 2004, Nicaragua submitted its fifth Article 7 transparency report, covering the period to 31 March 2004.[3]

Nicaragua has not engaged in the extensive discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3. Thus, Nicaragua has not made known its views on issues related to joint military operations with non-States Parties, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training.

Nicaragua joined the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on 5 December 2000. It attended the Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties in November 2003, but has not submitted annual reports required under Article 13 of Amended Protocol II.

The non-governmental Nicaraguan Coalition Against Mines (Coalición Nicaragüense de Acción Contra Minas), created in August 2001, reports that it continues to have limited success in achieving its primary objective of promoting effective participation of civil society and NGOs in implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty in the country.[4] The Director of the Joint Commission of Disabled and War Victims for Peace and Development Foundation of Madriz (FCC, Fundación Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados y Víctimas de Guerra Para la Paz y Desarrollo de Madriz) and civil society representative in the National Demining Commission (CND, Comisión Nacional de Desminado), Uriel Carazo, told Landmine Monitor that that there has been a lack of communication and follow-up among the various organizations working in mine action in the country, including both the Coalition and the CND.[5]

Production and Transfer

Nicaragua’s Ejército Popular Sandinista (Sandinista People’s Army - EPS) is a former producer of the TAP-4 directional fragmentation (Claymore-type) antipersonnel mine.[6] In a 1998 interview, the Army Chief of Operations said that a primitive version of the mine was manufactured around 1985, but it was never exported and production ceased before the end of the civil war.[7]

In the past the Sandinista Army acquired its mines from Soviet bloc countries (Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and USSR), as well as Egypt.[8] The contras opposition forces acquired Claymore mines from the United States. The contras may have also employed a Brazilian-made antipersonnel mine nicknamed “quitadedos” (toe-removing mine).[9]

Landmine Use

Both the Army and the contras used antipersonnel mines extensively during the armed conflict of the 1980s. Massive emplacement occurred in 1984 when the conflict intensified. The Army used mines mainly for protection of strategic installations, economically important locations, and lines of communication. The contras used mines to disrupt economic life and destabilize the government. According to a December 1996 report by Americas Watch, landmines laid by the contras “caused the great majority of civilian casualties.”[10]

While sporadic instances of antipersonnel mine use[11] and transfers[12] have been reported periodically by the media, there has been no systematic use or transfer of antipersonnel mines since the end of the conflict, including any in 2003 or 2004. The media has also reported instances of civilian use of antipersonnel mines for non-military purposes, such as fishing, preventing cattle theft, souvenirs, or even as doorstops.[13]

Stockpile Destruction

Nicaragua destroyed its stockpile of 133,435 antipersonnel mines between 12 April 1999 and 28 August 2002 in eleven separate events.[14] The completion of stockpile destruction was well in advance of Nicaragua’s treaty-mandated deadline of 1 May 2003. The Nicaraguan Army destroyed the mines by open detonation, with technical support provided through the OAS. Destruction took place in the presence of observers, usually including representatives from the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Congress, OAS, NGOs, and the media. Nicaragua has stated its willingness to share its technical expertise in stockpile destruction with other countries.

According to its 2004 Article 7 report, Nicaragua is retaining 1,910 antipersonnel mines for training purposes as permitted by Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[15] This is eleven MON-100 mines less than Nicaragua reported retaining the previous year.[16] In 2002, the Army transferred 144 antipersonnel mines to the Canine Unit (UTC) for training.[17] Nicaragua also transferred 286 antipersonnel mines to the OAS MARMINCA program for canine training in 1999.[18]

Landmine Problem

Nicaragua’s landmine problem is a result of the 1979-1990 internal armed conflict. In June 2004, the government reported that an estimated 28,087 emplaced mines still lie in a total of fifteen municipalities in three of the country’s 16 departments and in both autonomous regions.[19] The mine-affected areas are located in the north of Nicaragua along the border with Honduras (in Jinotega and Nueva Segovia departments and in the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region/RAAN) and further south (in Matalgapa department and the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region/RAAS).

In the north, ten municipalities were reported as affected in the departments of Nueva Segovia (municipalities of Jalapa, Murra, Mozonte, Wiwilí, and San Fernando), Jinotega (Jinotega municipality), and RAAN (municipalities of Rosita, Bonanza, Waspán, and Cabo Gracias a Díos). In the central region, the department of Matalgapa (municipalities of Matagalpa and El Tuma-La Dalia) is affected, as well as RAAS (municipalities of Bluefields, La Cruz de Río Grande, and Corn Island). Mine clearance in Madriz department has been completed, but it has not yet been certified.

In August 2003, the Organization of American States (OAS) estimated that 117,100 inhabitants residing in 303 communities are considered at risk, as they live within five kilometers or less from 402 minefields.[20]

According to the OAS PADCA Mine Risk Education (MRE) Coordinator in Nueva Segovia, unregistered minefields continue to be discovered by virtue of new information provided by the public through MRE activities, and by incidents in areas not previously suspected to be affected.[21] In March 2004, a farmer working on a coffee farm in Jinotega stepped on a landmine on the side of a road in an unregistered area, resulting in the amputation of his left foot; demining teams subsequently discovered more than 70 landmines in the area, none of which had been marked or registered.[22] Nicaragua reported that as of 31 December 2003, it had cleared a total of 10,054 unregistered antipersonnel mines reported by the civilian population.[23]

According to the OAS PADCA National Coordinator for Honduras, Honduras has approached Nicaragua to “develop a mutual agreement to address the landmine problem” in an area where the Rio Negro divides the two countries.[24] While the Nicaraguan side of the river was demined following Hurricane Mitch, the OAS PADCA National Coordinator for Nicaragua affirms “the number of mines discovered was less than the numbers identified in the registry.”[25] It is also expected that Hurricane Mitch may have uncovered, moved, or even buried landmines and other explosive artifacts up to one meter deep.

While mine clearance is advancing, development in many rural communities continues to be limited by the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). According to a report issued by the United Nations in October 2002, residents of the communities of Zacatera, Las Pampas and Linda Vista in Nueva Segovia department were often forced to engage in mine clearance activities in order to use the land; schools and health centers could not be built because the best sites for those projects were mine-affected.[26] In September 2003, media reported that road construction projects between isolated communities in the Atlantic coast had been delayed due to the suspected presence of mines.[27] In April 2004, firefighters extinguishing forest fires in Nueva Segovia department could not enter forested areas due to the presence of landmines; this resulted in increased loss of forested areas in a region already suffering from deforestation and drought.[28]

A large quantity of UXO, such as bombs, grenades, mortars, and ammunition, also remains in former combat areas, including urban areas.[29] In June 2004, a municipal worker in the capital of Managua found a fragmentation grenade while preparing a tourism route along Lake Tiscapa (Laguna de Tiscapa).[30]

Surveys and Assessments

While a countrywide Landmine Impact Survey has never been carried out, several other surveys and assessments have been conducted, including by the United Nations in December 1998. Information on mined areas, mine clearance and casualties is housed in an Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database in the offices of OAS PADCA, where it is used for program planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Information is provided by the Army, the Ministries of Defense and Health, the National Center for Technical Assistance and Orthotics (CENAPRORTO), OAS MARMINCA supervisors, the Technical Secretary of the CND, and mine risk education providers. IMSMA information on Nicaragua is available to the public through the OAS Nicaragua webpage on demining.[31]

In November 2000, the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) carried out an assessment of landmines and UXO impact in the Rio Coco basin, with support from Austria and the American Red Cross.[32] Funding could not be obtained to carry out recommendations from the assessment.

Mine Action Coordination

Nicaragua’s National Demining Commission (CND – Comisión Nacional de Desminado) was established in November 1998 by Decree 84-98. It is the national government body responsible for mine action. Nicaragua’s Minister of Defense, José Adán Guerra Pastora, is the President of the CND and in 2001 the Minister of Defense, María Auxiliadora Cuadra de Frech, was appointed Executive Secretary. The CND has three working subcommissions on demining, mine risk education, and survivor rehabilitation and reintegration. The subcommissions meet three times a year, but CND members hold monthly meetings.[33] According CND’s Technical Secretary, Dr. Juan Umaña, the CND is in the process of restructuring the subcommissions to improve their effectiveness and address upcoming needs and challenges in mine action programming.[34] In April 2004, the Technical Secretary of the CND provided to Landmine Monitor a list of the activities carried out by the commission.[35]

The Organization of American States Unit for the Promotion of Democracy, through the Program for Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA, Acción Integral Contra las Minas Antipersonal), is responsible for coordinating and supervising the Assistance Program for Demining in Central America (PADCA, Programa de Asistencia al Desminado en Centroamérica), with the technical support of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB). The IADB is responsible for organizing an international supervisory team in charge of training and certification, called the Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in Central America (MARMINCA, Misión de Asistencia para la Remoción de Minas en Centro América).[36]

In 2004, the OAS MARMINCA technical team in Nicaragua consisted of 17 individuals from Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.[37] MARMINCA does not operate with a defined annual budget. Salaries and living expenses of OAS MARMINCA supervisors are covered by their respective governments, while administrative, transportation, and other operational costs are covered by OAS PADCA. The OAS PADCA program has a central office in Managua, and two regional offices in Ocotal and Waspán. In total, OAS PADCA employs almost sixty Nicaraguan personnel, including the administrative and logistics sections.[38]

In 2002, the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) established its first Regional Support Center in Managua to support regional IMSMA operations and provide “first level user support, including on-site training, technical advice and maintenance, for IMSMA users in Latin America.”[39] The center also organizes regional user focus group meetings and training courses (such as one held in Guatemala in January 2003), facilitates contacts between the relevant countries and the GICHD, and cooperates closely with the OAS. Carlos Orozco, OAS PADCA National Coordinator, told Landmine Monitor that the OAS PADCA program has assumed the role of sourcing information and maintaining the IMSMA database.[40]

Mine Clearance

Mine clearance in Nicaragua is the responsibility of the Pequeñas Unidades de Desminado (Small Demining Units) of the Engineer Corps of the Nicaraguan Army. As of March 2004, approximately 650 Army members were trained and equipped to engage in mine clearance.[41]

According to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, Brigadier General César Delgadillo priority for clearance in the country is based on population density, and location of infrastructure such as high-tension towers and bridges. “First we concluded in the south [of the country], then the center, and now we are focusing on the north of the country, where all units will conclude their clearance operations, in the Atlantic coast and in the border sectors of Nueva Segovia and Madriz.”[42] According to Delgadillo, the north was prioritized last because it is relatively unpopulated, there is less mine-affected infrastructure, and clearance conditions are more difficult due to the terrain and lack of roads. According to the Minister of Defense, clearance priorities for 2004 include the most populated areas with landmine problems, in the departments of Nueva Segovia, Jinotega, and in the RAAN.[43]

There are five operational fronts for mine clearance in Nicaragua. In 2003, front one operated in the department of Matagalpa; front two in the department of Jinotega; fronts three (Murra municipality) and four (municipalities of Jalapa and San Fernando) both in the department of Nueva Segovia, and front five (Waspán municipality) in RAAN.[44] Each operational front deploys a company-sized 100-person unit and is accompanied by a national supervisor working in coordination with the MARMINCA supervisors. In addition, there are three platoon-sized units, with approximately 50 persons per unit: a mechanized unit, a mobile quick reaction unit, and a canine unit.[45] The canine unit has nine mine detecting dogs (six donated by the US and three national), and 20 deminers including guides and a veterinarian, all members of the Nicaraguan Army.

In the second half of 2004, some tasks for the operational fronts changed: front one (San Fernando, Nueva Segovia), front two (Wiwilí de Jinotega, Jinotega); front three (Murra, Nueva Segovia); front four (Jalapa, Nueva Segovia); and front five (Waspán-RAAN).

According to the Minister of Defense, between March 2003 and March 2004, 376,517 square meters of land were cleared, and 14,451 landmines and 27,033 UXO were destroyed.[46]

Nicaragua completed clearance of 96 kilometers of the southern border with Costa Rica in September 2002 and the border was declared the country’s first mine-free region.[47] In March 2003, Nicaragua reported the completion of mine clearance operations in the departments of Boaco, Chinandega, Chontales and in RAAS.[48] However, demining operations in RAAS continued into 2004.[49]

Nicaragua first began mine clearance in 1990. As of 31 May 2004, a total of 3,800,928 square meters had been cleared of mines, and 7,601,856 square meters were no longer considered dangerous. A total of 107,556 mines were cleared (97,502 of the 135,643 registered mines and another 10,054 mines that were not registered), as well as 555,339 UXO. Nicaragua has concluded mine clearance operations in fifty-eight municipalities, benefiting 1,979,675 inhabitants.[50]

The 58 municipalities cleared in thirteen departments include: Boaco (Boaco and Camoapa); Chinandega (Cinco Pinos, San Francisco, San Pedro, Santo Tomás, Somotillo, and Villa Nueva); Chontales (Juigalpa, Acoyapa, Santo Domingo, Villa Sandino, San Pedro Lovago, and La Libertad); Estelí (Estelí, Condega, Pueblo Nuevo, La Trinidad); Jinotega (Jinotega, San Sebastián de Yali, Cua, Bocay, and Santa María de Pantasma); León (municipalities of La Paz Centro and El Sauce); Madriz (Yalaguina, Las Sabanas, San José de Cusmapa, San Lucas, Palacaguina, and Somoto);[51] Managua (San Francisco Libre); Matagalpa (Ciudad Darío, Matiguas, Muy Muy, Sebaco, San Ramón, Río Blanco, Rancho Grande, and San Isidro); Nueva Segovia (Ocotal, Dipilto, Ococona, Macuelizo, Quilali, Jicaro); RAAN (Waslala, Siuna and Puerto Cabezas), RAAS (Bocana de Paiwas, Rama, Muelle de los Bueyes); Río San Juan (San Carlos, Morrito, San Juan del Norte, and El Castillo); and Rivas (Cárdenas, San Juan del Sur, and Rivas).

In April 2004, Nicaragua reported that depending on the availability of funding the completion date for demining operations may be pushed from 2005 to 2006.[52] The Coordinator of the OAS AICMA program expressed confidence that the goal of completing mine clearance will be achieved by December 2005, but the OAS was discussing with national authorities the need to maintain throughout 2006 a unit with national capacity to deal with new mine/UXO findings.[53] According to a media article, in September 2004, the Nicaraguan Vice Minister of Defense said that following the discovery and clearance of 10,054 unregistered antipersonnel mines, the government had decided to extend the clearance program for another year, until 2006.[54] The Minister of Defense was scheduled to visit Washington DC to discuss adjustments to the program.

Earlier, in March 2003, Nicaragua had reported that mine clearance in the country would be completed in 2005, not in 2004 as previously estimated.[55]

Nicaragua reports that new information from the public has resulted in the destruction of more that 288 remnants of war, including artillery grenades, aerial bombs, and mines located in areas other than where they were officially registered.[56] The Chief of OAS MARMINCA in Nicaragua stated that the continued discovery of unregistered minefields, particularly in the department of Nueva Segovia, is a complicating factor that has slowed the demining process.[57] Identification and clearance of newly-reported mines is also ongoing in urban areas. In February 2003, a civilian clearing undergrowth under an electricity line in the city of Estelí discovered and reported a PMN antipersonnel mine that was subsequently destroyed.[58]

According to the Chief of OAS MARMINCA in Nicaragua, two mechanized demining machines supplied by Japan have greatly improved the effectiveness of the demining program, with each clearing approximately 480 square meters per day, accounting for 78% of the mines removed in Nicaragua.[59] Nicaragua reports the average cost for removing and destroying an emplaced landmine is estimated at between $340 and $400.[60]

Nicaragua has identified its principal challenges in mine clearance as: the need for technical maintenance of two helicopters for emergency medical evacuation; the topography of the terrain; the poor condition of roads, bridges, and highways; adverse climate; difficulties in locating mined areas due to lost reference points; displacement of mines due to water runoff contaminating extensive areas; and growth of dense vegetation around and in the minefields.[61]

Civilian Demining

In Nicaragua, impoverished peasants have occasionally cleared landmines by themselves, either on their own land or by hiring themselves out to wealthier landowners. These amateur deminers have been reported to work without even the most minimal protection, using wooden sticks to locate mines and machetes to remove them.[62] In April 2001, UNICEF reported that male adults and adolescents “had lost their natural fear towards these objects,” and that “along the northern borders it is disturbingly common to hear testimonies of juveniles and even children stating that they themselves had been ‘clearing mines,’ following the examples of their fathers and other adults.”[63] A journal article on the practice published mid-2001 cites one farmer who states that he had cleared 500 mines, including 200 still fitted with the safety pin.[64] The farmer also said he was fed up with locals stealing his mines to fish illegally in the river. Another farmer near the town of Mulukukú in the RAAN region reportedly cleared 200 mines for a large landowner who paid him approximately $200 for the task.

It is unclear if the practice of civilian demining is widespread. The OAS PADCA Coordinator for Ocotal in the department of Nueva Segovia stated in February 2003 that amateur demining had been significantly reduced because of the visible presence of, and advancement made by, Nicaragua’s demining fronts, and because of a belief that the military would demine these areas in the near future.[65] The Chief of OAS MARMINCA in Nicaragua however told Landmine Monitor in May 2004 that farmers were “still moving mines to gain access to agricultural land and removing fencing and risk signs. Many people have no fear of landmines.”[66]

Mine Action Funding

The Nicaraguan government’s demining program and other mine action activities are funded by the international community, either bilaterally or through the OAS AICMA program. Mine action activities such as those carried out by UNICEF and NGOs are funded separately. In June 2004, Brigadier Delgadillo reported that donors have contributed more than $30 million to the national demining plan in Nicaragua and provided significant in-kind support in the form of technical supervisors. It is difficult to identify mine action funding for Nicaragua on an annual basis, because many donors designate funds for the OAS Central America program and not Nicaragua specifically, and some provide multi-year funding.

Denmark has provided on a bilateral basis $6.2 million for operational fronts one and two,[67] including $1.14 million (DKK7,500,000) in 2003.[68] Japan has provided $2.8 million on a bilateral basis for the mechanized unit. In 2003, Japan provided US$150,000 through UNMAS for mine risk education in Nicaragua.[69] Donations for the other fronts and units have been funded through the OAS AICMA program. Sweden has provided $2.3 million for front three for 2002-2005, including $841,584 (SEK6,800,000) in 2003.[70] Front four has received $4 million from Norway and Canada, and $1.3 million from the European Union for July 2003-July 2004. In 2003, Canada provided US$356,720 to OAS for demining, victim assistance and social reintegration.[71] The United States has provided $3.5 million for front five, and the United Kingdom has given $3.5 million for front five and the canine demining unit. The mobile unit has received $70,000 from France in 2003, $500,000 from the EU for July 2003-July 2004, and additional sums from the US.[72] Italy provided $100,000 to the OAS MRE program for 2003-2004.[73] In 2003, Spain provided $84,863 (€75,000) for capacity-building and reintegration of mine victims through the OAS.[74] Austria provided $79,205 (€70,000) in 2003 to Horizont 3000 for MRE activities in Rio Coco, and $433,385 from 2000-2003 for mine risk education and other activities.[75]

In 2004, the Minister of Defense told Landmine Monitor that Nicaragua provides an estimated 16 million Córdobas (about $1 million) each year to the member institutions of the CND, including the Ministry of Defense, the Nicaraguan Army, and the Ministry of Health, for assistance with salaries, infrastructure, vehicles, and communication.[76]

In April 2004, Nicaragua reported a deficit of mine action funds totaling $2.8 million.[77] In August 2003, the OAS had reported that $3.5 million was required for Nicaragua’s mine action program in 2004, including mine risk education and survivor assistance.[78] According to the OAS, the average cost of maintaining an operational front for one year is more than $900,000.[79] In December 2001 and September 2002, the OAS reported serious financial shortfalls affecting OAS PADCA programs, including Nicaragua. In March 2003, Nicaragua reported that about $8.2 million was needed to complete the humanitarian mine clearance program.

Nicaraguan Support to Mine Action

In June 2004, the Nicaraguan Army reported that over time it has developed a capacity to train deminers, instructors, and supervisors. Several countries of the region have sent representatives to Nicaragua to exchange experiences and learn from the CND’s work, including Perú, Paraguay, México, the US, and “particularly Bolivia, to solicit our participation as international supervisors in the clearance process in its borders with Chile.”[80] A delegation from Chile’s National Demining Commission visited Nicaragua from 2-6 Febuary 2004, and from 15-18 March 2004, Nicaragua’s Minister of Defense visited Chile, where he signed a Letter of Intent with Chile’s Defense Minister that included “collaboration, exchange of experiences, and advice by Nicaragua in humanitarian mine clearance.”[81]

In May 2003, Nicaraguan personnel assumed coordination and supervision of OAS AICMA supported mine clearance in Ecuador and Perú.[82] OAS MARMINCA Nicaragua representatives provided training and developed a new training manual.[83]

In August 2003, Nicaragua sent a contingent of 115 troops, including 26 deminers, to assist with the humanitarian demining program in Iraq. The contingent formed part of the Spanish-led brigade stationed at Diwaniya, 180 kilometers south of Baghdad. Nicaragua’s President Enrique Bolaños reportedly stated that the contingent was necessary to pay back “the humanitarian assistance that Nicaragua has received in its long history.”[84] The deployment generated intense criticism from the political opposition, NGOs, and much of the public who asked why the government was demining Iraq while large numbers of mines remained in Nicaraguan soil. Indigenous communities on the isolated Atlantic coast complained they had been waiting for mine clearance so that an access road could be built.[85] The NGO Centro de Estudios Internacionales, among others, raised concern that the domestic clearance goal of 2005 would be set back or delayed by the absence of the deminers.[86] Concerns were also raised about the safety of the contingent and the revelation of a lack of funds to cover full life insurance for the troops.[87] A Cid-Gallup survey conducted in November 2003 found that 83 percent of the population did not agree with the deployment of Nicaraguan troops to Iraq.[88] The Sandinista opposition party introduced a National Assembly initiative to repatriate the troops.[89]

While Nicaragua’s President refused to reveal the identity of the donor country that funded the first contingent of troops to Iraq, after several months it was discovered that Taiwan had donated approximately $700,000 for this purpose, but had requested anonymity for fear that “reprisals would be taken against Taiwanese people and interests if their involvement became known.”[90] A second contingent of 115 Nicaraguan troops completed training, but was never deployed to Iraq as planned in February 2004, because the Nicaraguan government could not find the $950,000 necessary to cover the costs of the mission.[91] According to media reports, the Nicaraguan demining contingent cleared approximately 36,464 explosive artifacts between August 2003 and 15 February 2004 and provided medical attention to more than 10,000 people.[92] In an April 2004 interview, the Minister of Defense told Landmine Monitor that the deployment to Iraq would not affect the 2005 target date for completion of mine clearance in Nicaragua.[93]

Mine Risk Education

In 2003 and 2004, mine risk education activities in Nicaragua were carried out by OAS PADCA, the Nicaraguan Red Cross, UNICEF, Acción Médica Cristiana (ACM), and the Joint Commission of Disabled and Victims of War for Peace and Development of Madriz Foundation (Fundación Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados y Víctimas de Guerra Para la Paz y Desarrollo de Madriz, FCC).[94]

The vast majority of mine risk education activities are carried out in three departments in the remote northern border regions. UNICEF operates in Jinotega, FCC in Madriz, OAS PADCA in Nueva Segovia, and ACM, OAS PADCA, and the Red Cross in RAAN. The region is characterized by rugged terrain with numerous communities that can only be reached on foot or on horseback and with great difficulty during the rainy season. Radio signals do not reach many communities and there are high levels of seasonal labor migration.

In 2003, the OAS provided mine risk education to 24,765 people in 102 high-risk communities in two departments (Nueva Segovia and Jinotega) and one autonomous region (RAAN).[95] In 2002, the program reached 17,171 people in 198 communities.[96] Between January and May 2004, the program reportedly reached some 21,400 people in 56 communities in four municipalities in Nueva Segovia and RAAN.[97] From 2001 to June 2004, OAS PADCA reports that 91,293 persons received mine risk education in Nicaragua.[98]

According to the OAS PADCA National Coordinator, the “Pasos Seguros sin Minas” (Safe Steps without Mines) MRE program established in 2003 to follow up the “Un Mundo Sin Minas” (A World without Mines) program has evolved into a permanent preventative education initiative with national coverage.[99] The program has four staff in Nueva Segovia (a coordinator and three MRE technicians), four staff in RAAN (a coordinator and three technicians), and a network of volunteers.[100] Mine risk education activities include community and house visits, child to child education, coordination with the demining fronts, training workshops, and provision of MRE materials. In May 2003, the OAS started a new mine risk education campaign in the RAAN (Waspán municipality), using materials translated into Miskito for dissemination through community and school visits.[101]

The National Demining Commission supported mine risk education activities in 2003 and the first half of 2004 in coordination with the OAS PADCA, including the dissemination of MRE messages on two radio stations for communities in the northern border region and installation of MRE billboards on highways and near mine-affected areas.[102] In high-risk areas of Jalapa, the OAS PADCA team based in Ocotal hosted a popular one-hour weekly radio program that combines MRE messages with traditional “Ranchera” music, jokes, and interviews.[103] The MRE activities in Jalapa have led to the discovery of new unregistered minefields as recently as May 2004.

In 2004, UNICEF continued to support its Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance Accident Prevention project, established in 1999. Nicaragua reported that UNICEF together with OAS PADCA and CND started a MRE program called “Sigamos por el Camino Seguro” (Let’s follow the safe path) in 2004 primarily in the department of Jinotega.[104] UNICEF delivered MRE to 14,916 people in 2002 (January to October) and 14,477 people from October 2003 to April 2004.[105] A media report in June 2004 indicated that the UNICEF program had reached 95 communities in five municipalities of Jinotega.[106] According to its national MRE coordinator, UNICEF collaborates with the OAS and the CND to prioritize mine risk education activities in high-risk communities and in communities where other organizations are not working. In 2004, UNICEF has intensified the use of community-based MRE methodologies, provided more coverage, utilized a variety of MRE techniques, and developed new MRE materials that are culturally sensitive.[107] In 2004, UNICEF employed three MRE staff. It received $155,000 for its MRE activities between October 2003 to December 2004 from Japan via the UN Mine Action Service.[108]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has supported mine risk education activities by the Nicaraguan Red Cross since 1998. The Red Cross has been conducting an MRE campaign in rural schools in the RAAN in both Spanish and the local Miskito language.[109]

Acción Médica Cristiana (Christian Medical Action, ACM) has provided MRE to over 20,000 people in 37 communities in the RAAN (Waspán municipality). ACM has a four-person MRE team and works in coordination with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and local mayors and schools. The ACM has received funding from Austria and in 2004 had an operational budget of $105,000.[110]

Between October and November 2003, the Joint Commission Foundation provided MRE training in eleven communities suspected to be at risk from UXO in the department of Madriz.[111] In 2002, FCC provided MRE to seventeen at-risk communities in Madriz.

In addition to the challenges of reaching remote communities in difficult terrain, MRE is hampered by the limited number of full-time mine risk educators.[112] Other challenges include youth removing minefield warning signs, high numbers of children in remote rural communities who do not attend school, and the limited ability of the mobile demining unit to respond to the high number of calls from individuals reporting mines or UXO in their communities or homes.[113]

Nicaragua has a problem with civilians storing landmines and UXO in their homes. According to UNICEF, MRE activities in Jinotega in 2003 and 2004 found UXO stored under beds, ovens, in wells and suspended from beams to hold down tin roofing.[114] In 2003, the OAS PADCA responded on nine occasions to reports of civilians storing landmines and/or UXO in their homes.[115] In 2002, the OAS MARMINCA program established a free telephone line directly connected to the mobile quick reaction demining unit. In April 2004, Nicaragua reported that calls from the public have resulted in the destruction of more that 288 artifacts of war, including mines, located in areas which had not been officially registered as mine-affected.[116] In other instances, reports from civilians have been made directly to local police or the Army.

In 2002, the MRE program in Nicaragua was criticized for its lack of a “systematic and overarching strategy to harmonize mine risk education work methods.”[117] In April 2004, Nicaragua reported that the CND’s education and prevention subcommission has succeeded in harmonizing the activities of the various MRE organizations by providing supervision, revising MRE materials to ensure consistency, and providing a National Guide for the Elaboration of Educational Materials.[118] In June 2004, UNICEF told Landmine Monitor that MRE activities in the country have become more organized and effective in terms of the coverage, coordination between organizations and methodologies utilized.[119]

Earlier MRE activities in Nicaragua included the development of a National Prevention Guide (Guía Nacional de Prevención) in 2001, and an MRE seminar held by UNICEF and the OAS in April of that year. In August 2000, the UK-based NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG) conducted a safety and mine risk education project in northeast Nicaragua with funding provided by the American Red Cross.

Landmine/UXO Casualties

In 2003, six mine/UXO casualties were reported from three incidents in which one person was killed and five others injured according to the OAS PADCA.[120] One incident involving a landmine took place in Jinotega in the north, while two incidents, both involving UXO occurred in Estelí and RAAS in the south of the country. The 2003 casualty numbers represent a significant decrease from 15 mine/UXO casualties reported in 2002. In the first half of 2004, three incidents were recorded in which one person was killed and two others injured. Two of the incidents involved UXO and the other involved an unknown artifact.[121]

OAS PADCA and other sources acknowledge that it is difficult to determine the exact number of landmine and UXO casualties in Nicaragua as many incidents in rural areas are still believed to go unreported.[122] It is estimated that there are between 700 and 2,000 landmine and UXO survivors in Nicaragua.[123] Before the installation of the IMSMA database, there was no centralized source of information on landmine casualties in Nicaragua. The OAS PADCA released the first report from the database detailing mine/UXO casualties in October 2001. The database is continuously being updated as past incidents are reported and between May 2003 and June 2004, another 121 casualty incident reports were added.

By June 2004, the OAS PADCA had registered in the database a total of 753 landmine/UXO casualties in the country since 1980, of which 73 people were killed and 680 injured. The casualties were reported in 632 separate incidents, of which 478 (76 percent) involved landmines, 103 (16 percent) were from UXO, and in 51 cases (8 percent) the type of device was not known.

Mine/UXO Casualties 1980-18 June 2004

Year
Total
Killed
Injured
Pre-1998
682
62
620
1999
9
0
9
2000
12
4
8
2001
26
2
24
2002
15
3
12
2003
6
1
5
2004 (to 18 June)
3
1
2
Total
753
73
680

Children under the age of 12 accounted for at least 41 casualties (five percent), and adolescents aged between 12 and 20 accounted for 113 casualties (15 percent). Women or young girls accounted for 82 casualties (11 percent). The majority of mine/UXO survivors were engaged in agricultural activities at the time of the incident.[124] The database does not identify any mine survivors from among the approximately 15,000 disabled ex-combatants.[125]

The database includes 23 incidents that occurred during clearance operations, resulting in 37 casualties (five killed and 32 injured). This number does not include a June 2002 incident in which a demining instructor was killed and four others injured during a training exercise.[126]

The majority of mine/UXO casualties were reported in the northern departments of Nueva Segovia (38 percent) and Jinotega (20 percent), as well as in ten other departments and in the RAAN and RAAS autonomous regions.[127] The departments of Boaco and Granada have not reported casualties.

The principal causes of landmine casualties are reportedly a lack of information about mine-affected areas; economic needs causing people to enter mine-affected areas for their livelihoods; intentional handling of mines or UXO; or changes in the location of mines/UXO due to storms, hurricanes, or erosion. While the majority of incidents recorded in the database are attributed to landmines, UXO is now reportedly emerging as a greater threat to the civilian population than landmines.[128]

Survivor Assistance

In 2001, the government of Nicaragua claimed a “shift in course” in mine action, toward “placing people and community rehabilitation at the heart of new programs,” and efforts were reportedly made to ensure that survivor assistance became an integral part of the public health system, and of other State institutions including the Ministry of the Family, the Institute for Youth, and the National Technological Institute (INATEC).[129] The NGO Centre for International Studies subsequently reported in 2002 that while a limited rehabilitation budget had been directed toward meeting the medical needs of mine survivors, little had been done to strengthen outdated rehabilitation services, including to improve their technical capacity to handle severe mine injuries.[130] CEI also reported that there was also a lack of facilities to provide for the physical rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration of mine survivors living in remote rural communities in mine-affected regions.[131]

There are more than 60 organizations/associations working for persons with disabilities in the country.[132] It is unclear how many of these organizations are able to adequately assist landmine survivors. Major providers of mine survivor assistance include CENAPRORTO, the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, Handicap International, Falls Brook Centre, and a number of small NGOs.

The National Center of Technical Assistance and Orthopedic Elements (Centro Nacional de Ayudas Tecnicas y elementos Ortoprotésico, CENAPRORTO) in Managua continues to provide physical rehabilitation, prosthetics and orthotics, and psychological support, for persons with disabilities, including mine survivors who account for about 30 percent of amputees assisted by the center. Since 1999, CENAPRORTO has produced 2,162 prostheses: 532 in 2003, 473 in 2002, 498 in 2001; 312 in 2000; and 347 in 1999. CENAPRORTO also produces and distributes orthoses, wheelchairs and crutches. At the end of 2003, 490 amputees were on the waiting list for prostheses, 157 people needed orthoses, and 509 people with a disability required wheelchairs.[133]

A number of agencies assist the center. In 2003, the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) covered 48 percent of the cost of prosthetic and orthotic services at CENAPRORTO; about CHF300,000 (US$235,358). In 2003, the SFD covered the cost of 258 prostheses, 119 orthoses, 128 wheelchairs, and 229 pairs of crutches.[134] The Nicaraguan Red Cross also identifies amputees and if necessary provides transport to the center. The SFD supports the supply of orthopedic components, staff training, and the cost of accommodation, transport and food during fittings. In 2000, the SFD entered into a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Health to restructure operations at CENAPRORTO, which resulted in the renovation of workshops, installation of new rooms, introduction of polypropylene technology and a reduction in staff numbers. As a result of the restructuring, production costs for lower limb prostheses were reduced by 27 percent and upper limbs by 62 percent. Since 1997, the Landmine and Victim Assistance Program by the OAS has assisted over 590 landmine/UXO survivors, including 244 in 2003, with transportation to the center, lodging, food, prostheses, therapy, surgery and medications.[135]

In 2004, the SFD’s support to CENAPRORTO will be gradually transferred to a newly created center in Managua established by the “Walking Unidos” program of the Polus Center.[136] The US-based Polus Center for Social and Economic Development Inc. has assisted persons with disabilities in Nicaragua, particularly those who have lost limbs due to war, landmines or other trauma, since 1999 through its “Walking Unidos” Prosthetic Outreach Program in León in western Nicaragua. Walking Unidos manufactures and fits above and below knee and upper limb prostheses and orthotics, and provides repairs, adjustments and foot replacements. It provides prosthetic/orthotic services free of charge or at a reduced cost for the poor and the SFD provides materials and technical advice. A total of 34 landmine survivors benefit from the program on an on-going basis.

The Polus Center also supports other activities that provide socio-economic opportunities for persons with disabilities; including, the Ben Linder Internet Cafe and Restaurant which provides employment and computer training opportunities for some amputees from its prosthetic program; the Disabilities Leadership Center which helps the University of León to integrate students with disabilities into the school and coordinates advocacy activities by more than a dozen grassroots NGOs in Nicaragua; “A City for Everyone” Access Project to remove barriers and install ramps in public places throughout León and conduct awareness-raising activities; and, a small grant program to support local organizations in addressing transportation, healthcare, education, employment, and access needs of persons with disabilities through their own initiatives.[137] Walking Unidos is also implementing an economic integration project, funded by the Inter-American Foundation, to help over 50 persons with disabilities a year to participate in existing cooperatives and receive access to small business development training and micro-credits. The Polus Center receives funding or support from the ICRC SFD, the Pan American Health Organization, USAID Leahy War Victims Fund, and a number of private foundations including Grapes for Humanity, the International Foundation, the Frees Foundation, Julia Burke Foundation, World Emergency Relief, and the Harold Seewald Charitable Fund.[138]

Handicap International works in coordination with municipalities, local NGOs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to provide medical rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and job training to persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors. HI provides support to the services of physical medicine and rehabilitation at an orthopedic center and four physiotherapy centers in Trinidad, Estelí department, and through a community based rehabilitation network. Between 2001 and 2004, HI assisted 48 landmine survivors, and it supported the training of three prosthetic technicians. Handicap International in Nicaragua serves as the regional headquarters for other HI offices throughout Latin America.[139]

The Organization of Disabled Revolutionaries (Organización de Revolucionarios Discapacitados, ORD) based in Managua manufactures wheelchairs, crutches, and other items for persons with disabilities which are either sold to the INSS, hospitals, and private individuals, or donated to members of the organization; approximately 12 wheelchairs are sold a month.[140]

Since 1999, the Canadian NGO Falls Brook Centre (FBC) has implemented survivor assistance programs in northern Nicaragua, working with three local NGOs: La Comición Conjunta de Descapacitados por la Paz and Reconstrucción de Madriz (CCDPRM), Fenix Madriz, and Movimiento Comunal Somoto. A “Kitchen Garden” project established by the FBC in 2001 in coordination with Movimiento Comunal Somoto (Somoto Communal Movement) assists subsistence-based rural farmers, including the families of landmine survivors, to establish organic food production. In 2003, 18 mine survivors and their families benefited from the project; an increase from eight in 2002.[141] The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded the project between 2001 and 2003, but in 2004 private donors in Canada provided $12,000 and volunteers also assisted. The FBC also implements a solar energy project that provides training and assistance with physical rehabilitation and prostheses. After CIDA funding ended in May 2001, private donors and landmine survivors who sell and install solar energy systems in rural areas have supported the project. By July 2002, the project had provided 40 landmine survivors with prostheses and other medical assistance, trained 25 mine survivors in solar energy technology, and provided solar electrification in 56 rural communities. With funding and staff support from FBC, ten mine survivors in Madriz department benefited from a project shift to a solar energy related entrepreneurial based initiative run by Fénix Madriz since 2002.[142]

Since 1999, the Since 1999, the Joint Commission of Disabled and War Victims for Peace and Development Foundation of Madriz (Fundación Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados y Víctimas de Guerra Para la Paz y Desarrollo de Madriz, FCC) has supported landmine survivors in the department of Madriz. In 2002, a total of 42 survivors were assisted with rehabilitation services, and 67 referred to other providers. In 2002, in coordination with Solidarité Union Coopération (SUCO), a total of 34 people, including 25 landmine survivors, received micro-credit assistance for small business and home repairs. In 2003, the same project provided micro credit assistance to sixteen landmine survivors. SUCO, a Canadian organization, provided $18,498 for the two-year project.[143]

By June 2004, three groups consisting of a total of 106 mine survivors from 30 municipalities had graduated from a job-skills training course program established in April 2002 by the OAS and the National Technical Institute (INATEC). A fourth course began in June 2004 for another 39 mine survivors.[144] Upon completion of the course, graduates can access financial resources and tools to help them establish income generation activities.[145] The training costs $2,000 per person. OAS reports that it has donor support to train 70 survivors during 2004, including from France and Spain.[146] While graduates speak positively about their experience in the course, limited employment opportunities and ongoing support have prevented many from finding work.[147] Several other factors also limit opportunities for employment including low academic levels among landmine survivors and limited access to education; limited government and private/public sector awareness about disability and equality issues; and discrimination.[148]

Organizations representing mine survivors and other persons with disabilities include the Consejo Nacional de Prevención y Rehabilitación (National Rehabilitation Council), the Federación de Coordinadora de Organismos por la Rehabilitación e Integración (Federation for Coordination of Rehabilitation and Integration Organizations, FECONORI), a federation of 31 disability organizations, Asociación de Discapacitados de la Resistencia Nicaragüense (Association of Disabled Persons from the Nicaraguan Resistance, ADRN), and the FCC.

The FCC is made up of ORD members (veterans from the Sandinista Army) and ADRN members (veterans from the contras) in the department of Madriz. In 2003, the FCC continued to act as both an advocate for, and facilitator of, rehabilitation services for landmine survivors; 45 mine survivors were assisted in coordination with the ICRC and OAS PADCA.[149]

Started in 2003, the “Planting Hope Education Fund” scholarship program, supported by donations from Canadian citizens, is assisting with the educational costs of 35 impoverished rural children, including ten children of mine survivors; in 2003, of 26 children assisted, eight were children of mine survivors.[150]

Capacity building of healthcare providers is on-going in Nicaragua. In April 2004, the OAS PADCA sponsored specialized medical training for 20 medics and 43 auxiliary paramedics/nurses working for the national health system in Jalapa and San Fernando (Nueva Segovia) and Waspán (RAAN); 23 medics and 30 paramedics working with the Army Engineering Corps also received training which included first aid, emergency pre-hospital treatment, and dealing with trauma. Basic medical training was also provided to the MRE program in Pasos Seguros.[151] In June 2001, prosthetic technicians from Nicaragua attended a regional conference on victim assistance technologies held in Managua by the OAS and the Center for International Rehabilitation (CIR).[152] Since 2000, two CENAPRORTO students have completed a three-year training course at the Don Bosco University in San Salvador, seven prosthetic technicians, the technical director and one physiotherapist took part in a training course, and three out of five technicians taking the internet course organized by the CIR passed their final examinations.[153]

A five-year tripartite assistance project for mine survivors in Central America by Canada (through Queens’ University), México and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), ended in March 2003. The project supported prosthetic and orthotic services, vocational training, and job placement programs for mine survivors and persons with disabilities, and the integration of community based rehabilitation into the networks of primary healthcare services. The initiative reportedly strengthened the national capacities to address the needs of landmine survivors through improved planning and organization of rehabilitation services.[154]

Also at the regional level, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have presented a project to the Regional Security Commission (Comission de Seguridad Regional, Sistema de Integration Centro Americano – SICA) to address the physical and psychological rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration needs in their respective countries. Bilaterally, Nicaragua has provided Norway with a proposal to continue with, and improve, existing skills-training initiatives. Nevertheless, limited resources and funding from international cooperation continues to be the principal problem to ensure adequate survivor assistance programs.[155]

Survivor assistance falls within the mandate of the CND, which consults with the National Rehabilitation Council (Consejo Nacional de Prevención y Rehabilitación) to find effective mechanisms to improve the social reintegration of mine survivors.[156] The CND claims that it can guarantee services for landmine survivors registered with the organization until 2005 when demining is expected to be completed.[157] One priority is to create a socio-economic reintegration program for landmine survivors, but CND states there are insufficient resources to establish and maintain such projects.[158]

According to consultations undertaken by Landmine Monitor in 2003 and 2004, some prosthetic and orthopedic programs have improved, but a number of issues have reportedly not been addressed, including the limited access to rehabilitation services in rural areas; limited funding and access to medicines, and other rehabilitative needs including wheelchairs and prosthetic eyes; ongoing problems with improper fitting, poor quality, or old prostheses; limited access to surgery for war-related injuries including the removal of shrapnel or bullets from the body; and a lack of psychological support.[159]

Nicaragua was co-rapporteur and then co-chair, with Japan, of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration from May 1999 to September 2001, and renewed its involvement by assuming the role of co-rapporteur, with Norway, in September 2003.

Nicaragua submitted the voluntary Form J with its Article 7 Report in 2001, but has not done so in subsequent reports.[160]

Three Nicaraguan mine survivors participated in the Raising the Voices training program in 2001.

Disability Policy and Practice

Legislation affirming the social reintegration of all persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors, is contained in Law 202 on the Prevention, Rehabilitation and Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, approved on 21 September 1995. Executive Decree No.50-1997 established the legal framework for improving the quality of life and assuring the full integration of persons with disabilities into society.[161] Government support has, however, been constrained by a lack of resources. Organizations complain that the needs of many persons with disabilities living in poverty are still not being met and they have raised their concern about a lack of support, financing, and awareness to achieve the commitments made by Law 202.[162] In February 2003, Nicaragua acknowledged that the laws have little impact on the lives of mine survivors and, in the context of increasing unemployment and decreasing funding, called for stronger socio-economic reintegration efforts.[163]

Landmine survivors from both the Sandinista Army and the contras are covered by separate legislation and have the right to medical care, rehabilitation and pensions covered by the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (Instituto Nicaragüense de Seguro Social, INSS).[164] In June 2002, pensions increased for some persons with disabilities, including veterans.[165] The pensions are still reported to be insufficient to maintain a reasonable standard of living and difficult to obtain.[166] Military deminers receive financial compensation, which is graded according to the severity of injuries sustained, but according to media reports, some deminers have not received sufficient medical attention or disability pensions.[167] With the privatization of INSS, associations are concerned about the future of disability pensions.

Civilian mine survivors receive no social welfare entitlements under the existing legal provisions. The CND acknowledges that judicial issues continue to impede civilian entitlements to pensions. Any changes to the law require reforms through the National Assembly. The OAS victim assistance programs aim is to remove the dependency of civilian mine survivors on pensions.[168] According to the head of one disability rights organization, several recent projects have raised awareness on disability issues, but few projects have been implemented at the municipal level to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and resources for mine action and disability NGOs and associations run by landmine survivors remain limited.[169]


[1] Law for the Prohibition of Production, Purchase, Sale, Import, Export, Transit, Use and Possession of Antipersonnel Landmines, Law No. 321, published in the Official Gazette on 12 January 2000. Article I of this law adds “installation” to the prohibition on antipersonnel mines. Article III states that the Armed Forces must destroy its stockpiles in the “period determined by the relevant authorities.” Article VI states that persons who violate the Law will be charged with “exposing the public to danger,” and will be punished accordingly. See “Prisión para vendedores de minas,” Confidencial, No. 158, 5-11 September 1999, p. 5.
[2] Nicaragua introduced UNGA Resolution 56/24 M in 2001, together with Norway and Belgium.
[3] The previous Article 7 reports were submitted: 31 March 2003, for the period from 30 March 2002 to 31 March 2003; 22 May 2002, for an unspecified period to 30 March 2002; 7 May 2001 for an unspecified period, but containing information as of 20 April 2001; and 18 May 2000, for an unspecified period, but containing information as of 30 September 1999. The initial report was submitted about six months late.
[4] Email from Alejandro Bendaña, Centro de Estudios Internationales (CEI), 7 December 2003; interview with Alejandro Bendaña, CEI, 29 March 2004.
[5] Interview with Uriel Carazo, FCC, Director, Somoto, 18 March 2004.
[6] US Department of Defense, “Mine Facts” CD-ROM.
[7] Information from Lt. Col. César Delgadillo, Army Chief of Operations, 4 December 1998.
[8] The mines consisted of OZM-4, PMD-6 and -6M, PDM-1M, MON-50, MON-100, PMN, PMN-2, POMZ, POMZ-2 from the Soviet Union; POMZ-2 and PMFM-1 from the former East Germany; PP-Mi-SrII from the former Czechoslovakia; PMFC-1, PMFH-1, and PMM-1 mines from Egypt. See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 266.
[9] Americas Watch, Landmines in El Salvador and Nicaragua: The Civilian Victims, December 1985, pp. 55-56.
[10] Ibid, p. 3.
[11] In November 2001, Army and Police units seized two antipersonnel mines during a raid on the criminal gang “Frente Unido Andrés Castro.” See Moisés Martínez and Herberto Jarquín, “Golpean al FUAC,” La Prensa (Manauga), 10 November 2001; “Tyson se salva descalzo y armado sólo de revólver,” El Nuevo Diario (Managua), 15 November 2001.
[12] In May 2003, a Panamanian court sentenced four Panamanians and three Colombians to 20 and 60 months imprisonment for attempting to import weapons acquired in Nicaragua into Colombia, including thirteen Russian antipersonnel mines. “Desmantelan en Panamá red de traficantes de armas para Colombianos,” Notimex (Panamá), 16 May 2003.
[13] In November 2002, media reported that military officials had confiscated six live landmines from a man who had been using them since 1995 to keep his roof from blowing away. “Man In Rural Nicaragua Used Six Land Mines To Weigh Down His Roof,” Associated Press, 12 November 2002.
[14] The stockpile destroyed consisted of the following mines: 43,312 PMN; 37,022 PMN-2; 1,803 PMD-6M; 5,351 PPMi-SrII; 4,164 PMOZ-2; 38,682 PMOZ-2M; 1,015 PMFH-1; and 2,086 NVVR. See Article 7 Report, Form D, 28 April 2004, p. 13. The 133,435 antipersonnel mines were destroyed on these dates: 28 August 2002 (18,435 mines), 20 June 2002 (10,000) 25 April 2002 (15,000), 17 September 2001 (20,000), 21 June 2001 (15,000), 29 March 2001 (15,000), 12 May 2000 (10,000), 25 February 2000 (10,000), 3 December 1999 (10,000), 28 August 1999 (5,000), and 12 April 1999 (5,000).
[15] The report listed a total of 1,810 antipersonnel mines retained for training, but the list added up to 1,910 mines: 500 PMN, 500 PMN-2, 500 POMZ-2M, 100 PP-MiSR-II, 100 POMZ-2, 100 MON-50, 50 OZM-4, 50 PMEH, and 10 MON-200 mines. See Article 7 Report, Form D, Point 1, Table, 28 April 2004, p. 11.
[16] The report listed a total of 1,971 antipersonnel mines retained for training, but the list added up to 1,921 mines (same as in the 2004 report, plus 11 MON-100 mines). See Article 7 Report, Form D, Table 1, 31 March 2003.
[17] The report listed a total of 124 antipersonnel mines transferred, but the list added up to 144 mines: 50 PMN, 35 POMZ, 33 PPMi-SrII, 20 MON-50, and 6 PTMI-K. Article 7 Report, Form D, (second) Point 1, Table, 28 April 2004, p. 12.
[18] Article 7 Report, Form D, 30 September 1999.
[19] Presentation by Nicaragua, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2004.
[20] OAS AICMA, “Portafolio 2003-2004,” August 2003, p. 51.
[21] Interview with Ramon Zapeda, MRE Coordinator, OAS PADCA Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, 28 May 2004. PADCA is the Assistance Program for Demining in Central America (Programa de Asistencia al Desminado en Centroamérica).
[22] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, Chief, OAS MARMINCA Nicaragua, Managua, 31 May 2004.
[23] Presentation by Nicaragua, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, 22 June 2004.
[24] Interview with Miguel Barahona, National Coordinator, OAS PADCA Honduras, Tegucigalpa, 25 May 2004.
[25] Interview with Carlos Orozco, National Coordinator, OAS PADCA, Managua, 3 June 2004.
[26] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects 2003,” October 2002, p. 203.
[27] Heberto Jarquín M., “Minas amenazan a comunidad indígena,” La Prensa, 15 September 2003.
[28] Interview with Ramón Zapeda, OAS PADCA, 28 May 2004.
[29] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects,” April 2001, p. 184.
[30] Carlos Martínez Morán, “Encuentran granada en Tiscapa,” La Prensa, 11 June 2004.
[31] See www.oeadesminado.org.ni . MARMINCA is the Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in Central America (Misión de Asistencia para la Remoción de Minas en Centro América).
[32] Email from Tim Carstairs, Director for Policy, Mines Advisory Group, 4 October 2004.
[33] Interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, Technical Secretary, National Demining Commission (CND), 2 April 2004.
[34] Comments by Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, Meeting at Ministry of Defense, Managua, 21 April 2004. Landmine Monitor attended.
[35] These include: a) the promotion of demining as a national humanitarian priority; b) support and follow up on demining program policies; c) promoting the inclusion of landmine victims in social rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration programs; d) coordinating demining fundraising activities, channeling and administering funds and assistance in distributing materials and equipment; e) maintaining a database on activities related to mine action; f) preparing studies and reports on the demining program; g) recommending the development of studies, projects and reports on mine action in Nicaragua; h) protecting socio-economic development policies for Nicaragua’s landmine survivors; i) consulting with government officials and other institutions; j) implementing MRE programs, especially for the rural population; k) providing moral and material support to the officials and soldiers of the Special Demining Units of the Nicaraguan Military; and l) receiving information from the Minister of Defense about the demining program. Interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 2 April 2004.
[36] Response to LM Questionnaire by Carlos J. Orozco, OAS PADCA, 5 February 2003; see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 377.
[37] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[38] William McDonough, “El programa de Nicaragua es uno de los más modernos,” in CND, “Nicaragua en la recta final del desminado,” June 2004, p. 4.
[39] GICHD, “Update on activities between January and October 2002,” 31 October 2002.
[40] Interview with Carlos Orozco, OAS PADCA, 25 March 2004.
[41] Article 7 Report, 28 April 2003, p. 7.
[42] Brig. Gen. César Delgadillo, “Nicaragua generó un modelo propio de desminado,” in CND, “Nicaragua en la recta final del desminado,” June 2004, p. 6.
[43] Interview with José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, 1 April 2004.
[44] OAS PADCA Nicaragua website, See “Desminado Humanitario,” visited March 16 2004.
[45] OAS AICMA, “Portafolio 2003-2004,” August 2003, p. 31.
[46] Interview with José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, 1 April 2004. Nicaragua’s April 2004 Article 7 report, for the period up to 29 February 2004, gives the same figure for area cleared, but cites 15,451 landmines destroyed. Article 7 Report, 28 April 2004, pp. 3-4.
[47] Article 7 Report, 31 March 2003, p. 6; “Costa Rica: Border with Nicaragua free of mines by mid-September,” EFE (San Jose), 27 August 2002. Nicaragua originally declared that demining was completed in April 2001. Article 7 Report, Introduction, 22 May 2002; Article 7 Report, Introduction, 7 May 2001, p. 2.
[48] Article 7 Report, 31 March 2003, p. 6.
[49] Article 7 Report, 31 March 2004, p. 18.
[50] Presentation by Nicaragua, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, 22 June 2004.
[51] Mine clearance in Madriz department has been completed, but not yet been certified.
[52] Article 7 Report, 28 April 2004, p. 8.
[53] William McDonough, “El programa de Nicaragua,” June 2004, p. 4.
[54] Vladimir López, “Hallan 10 mil nuevas minas, desminado se extenderá un año más,” El Nuevo Diario, 29 September 2004.
[55] Response to LM Questionnaire by OAS MARMINCA, 31 January 2003; Article 7 Report, Introduction, 31 March 2003, p. 7.
[56] Article 7 Report, 28 April 2004, p. 6.
[57] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[58] “Descruben mina de alto poder en barrio esteliano,” La Prensa, 28 February 2003.
[59] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[60] Article 7 Report, 28 April 2004, p. 8.
[61] Ibid, p. 6.
[62] Observation based on visits and interviews in affected areas by CEI and CEEN personnel. See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 286. See also Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[63] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects,” April 2001, p. 186.
[64] Russel Gasser, “Interview with an amateur deminer,” in “Landmines in Central & South America,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 5.2, Summer 2001, pp. 46-48.
[65] Interview with Ramón Zapeda, OAS PADCA, 5 February 2003.
[66] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[67] Unless otherwise noted, all information in this paragraph is from: Brig. Gen. César Delgadillo, “Nicaragua generó un modelo propio de desminado,” in CND, “Nicaragua en la recta final del desminado,” June 2004, p. 7.
[68] See Denmark country report in this Landmine Monitor Report 2004.
[69] See Japan country report in this Landmine Monitor Report 2004.
[70] See Sweden country report in this Landmine Monitor Report 2004.
[71] See Canada country report in this Landmine Monitor Report 2004.
[72] OAS AICMA, “Portafolio 2003-2004,” August 2003, p. 32.
[73] Interview with Carlos Orozco, OAS PADCA, 3 June 2004.
[74] See Spain country report in this Landmine Monitor Report 2004.
[75] Mine Action Investments Database, accessed 28 June 2004.
[76] Interview with José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, 1 April 2004.
[77] Article 7 Report, 28 April 2004, p. 7.
[78] OAS AICMA, “Portafolio 2003-2004,” August 2003, pp. 34-47.
[79] Ibid, p. 32.
[80] Brig. Gen. César Delgadillo, “Nicaragua generó un modelo propio de desminado,” in CND, “Nicaragua en la recta final del desminado,” June 2004, p. 7.
[81] “Nicaragua y Chile profundizarán cooperación en desminado humanitario,” in CND, “Nicaragua en la recta final del desminado,” June 2004, p. 13.
[82] In 2004, Lt. Col. Jorge Castro was to assume the lead supervisory role for the clearance mission. Luis Felipe Palacios “Militares nicas supervisan desminado en Perú y Ecuador,” La Prensa, 29 May 2003; Consuelo Sandoval, “Exitosa misión militar de desminado en Perú y Ecuador,” La Prensa, 12 January 2004.
[83] Interview with Col. Nelson Leonel Bonilla Romero, OAS MARMINCA, 31 May 2004.
[84] “Evaluarán condiciones para envio de militares nicaragüenses a Irak,” Notimex, 10 June 2003.
[85] Heberto Jarquín M., “Minas amenazan a comunidad indígena,” La Prensa, 15 September 2003.
[86] CEI, “Realidad Del Desminado en Nicaragua,” 21 March 2003.
[87] “Se declaran en alerta máxima tropas nicaragüenses en Irak,” Notimex, 21 November 2003.
[88] Luis Felipe Palacios, “Rechazan envío detropas a Irak,” La Prensa, 11 December 2003.
[89] María José Uriarte R., “Guerra va a la guerra,” La Prensa, 13 October 2003; “Nicaraguan Troops to Remain in Iraq Despite Attacks,” Nicaragua Network Hotline, 8 December 2003.
[90] “Taiwan Financing Nicaraguan Troops in Iraq,” Nicaragua Network Hotline, 2 September 2003.
[91] “115 soldados listos para viajar a Irak,” Associated Press (Managua), 31 January 2004; “Short of cash, Nicaragua can't send new troops to Iraq,” Agence France-Presse, 8 February 2004.
[92] José Seage, “Nicaragüenses desactivaron 36.000 artefactos en 6 meses de misión,” EFE, 9 February 2004.
[93] Interview with José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, 1 April 2004.
[94] FCC was previously called Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados de Madriz para la Paz y Reconstrucción (ORD/ADRN).
[95] OAS PADCA website, “Audiencia Sensibilizada en Campañas de Prevención - PADCA-OEA-NICARAGUA, 2001-2004.”
[96] OAS AICMA, “Portafolio 2003-2004,” August 2003, p. 51.
[97] Alina Lorío, “Pasos seguros sin minas” en Wiwilí, La Prensa, 16 June 2004.
[98] OAS PADCA website. In 2001, 6,265 people received MRE; in 2002, 17,262; in 2003, 24,765; and in 2004 to June, 43,001.
[99] “Pasos seguros sin minas: Cientos de artefactos explosivos destruidos en Nueva Segovia,” El Nuevo Diario, 29 November 2003.
[100] Interview with Ramón Zapeda and Danis Hernández, OAS PADCA, 28 May 2004.
[101] OAS PADCA website; Interview with Ramón Zapeda, OAS PADCA, 5 February 2003.
[102] Presentation by Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, Meeting at Ministry of Defense, 21 April 2004.
[103] Interview with Ramón Zapeda and Danis Hernández, OAS PADCA, 28 May 2004.
[104] Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2004, p. 22.
[105] Response to LM Questionnaire by UNICEF, June 2004.
[106] Alina Lorío, “‘Wiwilí,” La Prensa, 16 June 2004.
[107] Interview with Wanda Obando, MRE Coordinator, UNICEF, Managua, 1 June 2004.
[108] Interview with César Pazos, UNICEF Program Coordinator, Managua, 1 June 2004.
[109] Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2004, p. 22; Article 7 Report, Form I, 31 March 2003.
[110] Telephone interview with Porfilio Rodriguez, Coordinator, Accion Medica Cristiana, 23 March 2003.
[111] Fundación Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados y Víctimas de Guerra Para la Paz y Desarrollo de Madriz, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres Antipersonales, Abril 2003 – Marzo 2004,” 29 February 2004. MRE was provided in the communities of El lajero, la jabonera, los robles in municipality of Cusmapa; in the communities of Miquilse, El Espino, el Tablón in the municipality of San Lucas, and; in the communities of Las Pintadas, Llaraje, el Tamarindo and Las Anonas in the municipality of Somoto.
[112] Interview with Ramón Zapeda, OAS PADCA, 28 May 2004.
[113] Interview with Wanda Obando, UNICEF, 1 June 2004.
[114] Ibid; Fransisco Mendoza S., “Avanza plan de desminado,” El Nuevo Diario, 19 April 2004.
[115] Interview with Ramón Zapeda, OAS PADCA, 28 May 2004.
[116] Article 7 Report, 31 March 2004, p. 6.
[117] Interview with Phillipe Diquemare, HI, November 2002, cited in CEI, “La Situación de la acción contra minas en Nicaragua: Cuarto Informe Independente,” November 2002, p. 3.
[118] Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2004; OAS PADCA website, “Prevención,” 19 April 2004.
[119] Interview with Wanda Obando, UNICEF, 1 June 2004.
[120] All information in this section taken from reports on the OAS PADCA website dated 18 June 2004 unless otherwise stated. Reports analyzed by Landmine Monitor include “Accidentes por minas o UXOs,” “Casos Reportados Accidentes/Incidentes,” “Victimas Reportados Accidentes/Incidentes,” “Victimis por Minas/UXOs,” “Casos Reportados Accidentes/Incidentes: at May 2003,” and “Accidentes en Operaciones de Desminado: August 2003.”
[121] The UXO incident in RAAS was reported in the media as a landmine. (“Nicaraguan landmine kills one child, injures two,” EFE, 12 April 2003). The incident in March 2004 involving an unknown artifact was also reported in the media as a landmine. (Silvia González Siles, “Campesino mutilado por una mina,” La Prensa, 18 March 2004).
[122] Mariela Fernández, “Nicas los más afectados con minas,” La Prensa, 4 March 2003; and UNMAS, “Nicaragua Landmine Situation Assessment Mission,” 15 December 1998, p. 7.
[123] Interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 1 June 2004; “Vicepresidente alerta por minas quiebrapatas de las Farc y el Eln en la Amazonia,” El Tiempo (Bogotá), 12 November 2003; see also UNMAS, “Nicaragua Landmine Situation Assessment Mission,” 15 December 1998, p. 7.
[124] Email report from Remy Llinares, Comisión Europea, “Asistencia a sobrevivientes de minas en Nicaragua,” 26 March 2004.
[125] Landmine Monitor (MAC) interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 25 June 2004.
[126] Mario Sánchez P., “Mina destroza a sargento,” La Prensa, 4 June 2002; “Un soldado muerto y tres heridos por explosión de mina en Nicaragua,” El Colombiano (Medellín, Colombia), 4 June 2002.
[127] Mine/UXO casualties (including 37 demining casualties) have been recorded in Nueva Segovia (284), Jinotega (153), Matagalpa (69), RAAN (68), RAAS (40), Chinandega (36), Madriz (33), Chontales (26), Estelí (20), Managua (14), Rio San Juan (4), Masaya (2), León (3), and Rivas (1).
[128] “Inseguridad en el istmo por restos de explosivos,” La Prensa, 27 June 2003.
[129] Statement by José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, on the occasion of the XV Meeting of the CND, 29 January 2001; Response to LM Questionnaire by José Adán Guerra, Minister of Defense, 26 February 2002.
[130] CEI, “Cuarto Informe Independiente,” November 2002, pp. 4-5; see also UNMAS, “Nicaragua Landmine Situation Assessment Mission,” 15 December 1998, pp. 10-11.
[131] Interview with Philippe Dicquemare, Program Director, Handicap International, Managua, 14 March 2002.
[132] Interview with Cyril Loisel, Program Director, Handicap International, Managua, 16 April 2004.
[133] ICRC Special Reports, “Mine Action 2002,” July 2003, p. 37; “Mine Action 2001,” July 2002, p. 28; “Mine Action 2000,” July 2001, p. 26; “Mine Action 1999,” August 2000, p. 31; ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, February 2004, p. 11; and ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2001,” May 2002.
[134] ICRC, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, June 2004, p. 199.
[135] Presentation by CND, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 23 June 2004; William McDonough. “Report of the OAS-Mine Action Program to the Committee on Hemispheric Security,” 14 March 2002; response to Landmine Monitor from Carlos J. Orozco, OAS PADCA, 5 February 2003; document provided by Carlos Orozco, OAS PADCA, 7 June 2004.
[136] ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, February 2004, pp. 10-12; ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2002,” p. 5; ICRC Special Reports, “Mine Action 2003,” August 2004, pp. 45-46; “Mine Action 2002,” July 2003, p. 37; “Mine Action 2000,” July 2001, p. 26; and “Mine Action 1999,” August 2000, p. 31. Previous assistance stopped in 1993.
[137] Email from Stephen Meyers, International Program Coordinator, Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, Inc., 28 April 2003; see also ICBL Portfolio of Landmine Victim Assistance Programs, available at www.landminevap.org .
[138] Emails from Stephen Meyers, International Program Coordinator, Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, Inc., 16 March 2004 and 28 April 2003.
[139] Interview with Cyril Loisel, HI, 16 April 2004; emails from Philippe Dicquemare, HI, 24 and 31 July 2001.
[140] Interview with Wilber Torre Morales, National Coordinator, ORD, Managua, 22 March 2004.
[141] Interview with Ada Diaz, Project Coordinator, Movimiento Comunal Somoto, Somoto, 18 March 2004; interview with Sonya Waite, International Project Coordinator, Falls Brook Centre, Somoto, 18 January 2003.
[142] Interview with Sonya Waite, Falls Brook Centre, 18 January 2003; email from Peter Sundberg, Project Coordinator, Falls Brook Centre, Somoto, Nicaragua, 30 July 2002.
[143] FCC, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres,” 29 February 2004; CCDPRM, “Actividades realizadas por la Comisión Conjunta de Discapacitados por la Paz y la Reconstrucción de Madriz, ORD/ADRN en el Departamento de Madriz en el año 2002,” 30 January 2003.
[144] Presentation by CND, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance, 23 June 2004; William McDonough, “Report of the OAS,” 14 March 2002.
[145] See OAS PADCA website, “Reinserción.”
[146] Presentation on OAS AICMA, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education, and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2004, p. 2; and interview with Carlos Orozco, OAS PADCA, 3 June 2004.
[147] FCC, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres,” 29 February 2004; interview with Uriel Carazo, FCC, 18 March 2004.
[148] Interview with Cyril Loisel, Program Director, Handicap International, Managua, 16 April 2004; Annie Lafreniere, “Investigacion sobre los problemas y necesidades de las discapacitadas de guerra en el departamento de Madriz,” FCC, Programa JSI de ACDI – SUCO-Canada, Somoto, February 2004; interview with Wilber Torre Morales, ORD, 22 March 2004.
[149] FCC, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres,” 29 February 2004.
[150] Interviews with Sonya Waite, Planting Hope Education Fund, Somoto, 14 April 2004 and 18 January 2003.
[151] “Programa de asistencia de la OEA: Fortalecen Capacidad en zonas afectadas por minas,” El Nuevo Diario, 11 May 2004.
[152] “Ayudarán más víctimas de minas antipersonales. Primera conferencia regional de rehabilitación y technología,” El Nuevo Diario, 19 June 2001.
[153] ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2003,” Geneva, February 2004, pp. 10-12; ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled, “Annual Report 2002,” p. 5.
[154] Mariela Fernández, “Nicas los más afectados con minas,” La Prensa, 4 March 2003.
[155] Joint Intervention by Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua,” Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 22 June 2004; interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 1 June 2004.
[156] Response to LM Questionnaire by Minister of Defense, 26 February 2002.
[157] Interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 2 April 2004.
[158] Presentation by CND, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 10 February 2004.
[159] Interview with Wilber Torre Morales, ORD, 22 March 2004; FCC, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres,” 29 February 2004; interview with Uriel Carazo, FCC, 18 March 2004; Annie Lafreniere, “Investigación sobre los problemas y necesidades de los discapacitados de guerra en el departamento de Madriz,” FCC, Programa JSI de ACDI – SUCO-Canada, Somoto, February 2004.
[160] Article 7 Report, Form J, 7 May 2001.
[161] Responses to Landmine Monitor Questionnaire by Minister of Defense, 18 March 2002 and 28 June 2002.
[162] Juan Alonso Gaitán Urbina, National Coordinator, ORD, quoted in “Discapacitados de guerra mueren sin asistencia,” El Nuevo Diario, 9 July 2002; FCC, “Acción Sobre Minas Terrestres,” 29 February 2004.
[163] Intervention by CND, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-economic Reintegration, Geneva, 4 February 2003.
[164] Interview with Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, 25 June 2004.
[165] Roger Olivia, “INSS sube pensión a discapacitados,” El Nuevo Diario, 14 June 2002.
[166] Roger Olivas, “De la tragedia al éxito,” El Nuevo Diario, 8 December 2003; interview with Wilber Torre Morales, ORD, 22 March 2004; interview with Uriel Carazo, FCC, 18 March 2004.
[167] Luis Felipe Palacios, “Ejército nica abandona a ex zapadores,” La Prensa, 25 August 2003; María José Uriarte R, “Ejército investigará casos de ex zapadores,” La Prensa, 26 August 2003.
[168] Comments by Dr. Juan Umaña, CND, Meeting at Ministry of Defense, 21 April 2004.
[169] Interview with Uriel Carazo, FCC, 18 March 2004.