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Table of Contents
Country Reports
Ecuador, Landmine Monitor Report 2008

Ecuador

State Party since

1 October 1999

Treaty implementing legislation

None adopted

Last Article 7 report submitted on

25 April 2008

Article 4 (stockpile destruction)

Deadline: 1 October 2003

Completed: January 2002

Article 3 (mines retained)

Initially: 3,970

End 2007: 1,000

Contamination

Antipersonnel mines, a few antivehicle mines, UXO

Estimated area of contamination

0.5km2

Article 5 (clearance of mined areas)

Deadline: 1 October 2009

Likelihood of meeting deadline

None: extension requested

Demining progress in 2007

2,586m2 (2006: 12,200m2)

Mine/ERW casualties in 2007

0 (2006: 0)

Estimated mine/ERW survivors

Unknown, but at least 17

RE capacity

Unchanged—adequate

Availability of services in 2007

Unchanged—inadequate

Mine action funding in 2007

International: $110,000 (2006: $325,000)

National: $500,000 (2006: $17,500)

Key developments since May 2007

On 31 March 2008, Ecuador requested an eight-year extension to its Article 5 deadline. The ICBL criticized the length of the request; a revised “Executive Summary,” submitted in August 2008, did not change the request. In March 2008, Raúl Reyes, the second in command of the Colombian non-state armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), died after stepping on a mine laid around a FARC camp in Sucumbíos province of Ecuador, near the border with Colombia.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Ecuador signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified on 29 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999.

In 2008, Ecuador was in the process of adopting legal measures to implement the treaty nationally, including penal sanctions as required by Article 9. In April and May, Ecuador stated that the National Humanitarian Demining Center (Centro National de Desminado Humanitario, CENDESMI), the National Commission for Human Rights, the National Congress Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had prepared a reform of the penal code for antipersonnel mines.[1] This could not be approved or completed until the National Congress, which was dissolved in November 2007, resumed. This has not occurred as of August 2008.

Ecuador submitted its tenth Article 7 report on 25 April 2008, covering calendar year 2007.[2]

At the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Jordan in November 2007, Ecuador made a statement on mine clearance. Ecuador attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2008, where it made a statement on its efforts to comply with Article 5 on mine clearance, and delivered a presentation on behalf of several Latin American states regarding a May 2008 resolution on mine clearance by the Organization of American States (OAS).

Ecuador has not engaged actively in the discussions that States Parties have had on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3. However, Ecuador has stated that it has never participated in a joint military operation with states not party to the treaty and that its foreign policy does not allow it to participate in joint military operations with other states. Ecuador has also stated that it has never received a request for the transit of antipersonnel mines, it has not produced antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and it views 1,000 as the acceptable limit for the number of mines retained for training.[3]

Ecuador is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It participated in the Ninth Annual Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II on 6 November 2007, but has not submitted an Article 13 report in recent years. It is not party to Protocol V on explosive remnants of war, but attended the protocol’s First Annual Conference of States Parties on 5 November 2007 as an observer.

Ecuador participated in the Dublin Diplomatic Conference on Cluster Munitions in May 2008 and adopted the final treaty text.

Production, Transfer, Use, Stockpiling, and Destruction

Ecuador has not produced or exported antipersonnel mines in the past. Landmine Monitor knows of no government use of antipersonnel mines in Ecuador since the Cenepa border war with Peru concluded in 1998. In March 2008, however, Raúl Reyes, the second in command of the Colombian non-state armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC), died after stepping on a mine laid around a FARC camp in Sucumbíos province of Ecuador, near the border with Colombia. News reports quote Colombian military intelligence as saying between 15 and 20 mines exploded very close to Reyes, within a perimeter of only 25m, activated by the fleeing guerrilla fighters. Within the first protective circle alone, 120 mines were detected, and in the area surrounding the camp there were as many as 1,200 buried mines.[4]

Ecuador completed destruction of its stockpile of antipersonnel mines in January 2002, destroying a total of 260,302 mines.[5] On 14 August 2007, Ecuador destroyed 1,001 antipersonnel mines (600 TAB-1, 301 VS-50, and 100 PRB M-409 mines) previously retained for training.[6] The destruction was carried out in the presence of officials, media, and regional observers at the Atahualpa military base outside Quito.[7] This was Ecuador’s second major reduction in mines retained for training; in August 2004, it destroyed 1,970 mines.[8]

In April 2008, the Ecuadorian army recovered 14 mines among other weapons from a camp found on the Ecuador side of the border with Colombia. Army officers who participated in the operation reported that a column of the FARC’s Daniel Aldana Front operates across the border from the sector. Army Engineering Corps experts took an inventory of the explosives and material seized and destroyed them by controlled detonation.[9]

According to its April 2008 Article 7 report, Ecuador now has a total of 1,000 mines retained for training (800 TAB-1, 158 VS-50, 25 P-4B, 11 PRB-M35, and 6 PMD-6M), which are held at the Atahualpa military base.[10] Ecuador has not yet reported in any detail on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, a step agreed by States Parties at the First Review Conference in December 2004.

Landmine/ERW Problem

Five provinces in southern Ecuador are contaminated with antipersonnel mines and, to a much smaller extent, antivehicle mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), resulting from the Cenapa war with Peru over an area of disputed border in the 1990s.[11] The most heavily mined section of the border is the area known as the Condor Mountain Range (Cordillera del Cóndor), which was at the center of the conflict.[12]

In its Article 5 deadline extension request, Ecuador—for the first time since signing the Mine Ban Treaty—provided a comprehensive history of its landmine problem and the progress made towards becoming a mine-free state. It reported that the original number of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs) was 128, covering 621,034m2, and that as of 31 December 2007 they had cleared 66 mined areas totaling 118,707m2, equivalent to an average of roughly eight SHAs and 15,000m2 per year. Of the remaining 62 SHAs, covering 502,327m2, ongoing surveys may determine that some of the suspected areas are in fact free of landmines.[13] Ecuador reported no SHAs along the border with Colombia.[14]

In the process of clearing 66 SHAs, Ecuador destroyed 4,621 antipersonnel mines, 65 antivehicle mines, and eight items of UXO. Unlike many other countries, Ecuador puts particular importance on the number of landmines needed to be cleared. According to its Article 5 deadline extension request, 10,910 mines were laid between 1995 and 1998, of which 10,843 were antipersonnel mines and the remaining 67 were antivehicle mines, in the provinces of El Oro, Loja, Morona Santiago, Pastaza, and Zamora Chinchipe.[15] Orellana province has since been declared free from mines.[16]

Morona Santiago is the most mine-affected province. According to Ecuador’s Article 5 deadline extension request, there are 42 SHAs in Morona Santiago, or 67% of the total remaining, including the final two areas, located in Coangos district, scheduled for clearance in 2017.[17] In Zamora Chinchipe province, there are 2,518 antipersonnel mines in 143,219m2, and in Pastaza province there are 10 SHAs covering an estimated 10,000m2. Through surveys in Pastaza it has been determined that only 29 mines are contained in the 10 areas.[18]

A summary of the remaining landmine problem in Ecuador as of March 2008

Province

No. of remaining SHAs

Size of SHAs
(m2)

No. of antipersonnel mines remaining

No. of antivehicle mines remaining

Loja and El Oro

9

46,851

605

30

Zamora Chinchipe

1

143,219

2,518

0

Morona Santiago

42

302,257

2,771

0

Pastaza

10

10,000

29

0

Total

62

502,327

5,923

30

According to Ecuador, although the socio-economic impact of mines on a national basis impacts less than 5% of the population, mine/ERW contamination restricts and endangers subsistence livelihoods and access to water. Particularly affected are the indigenous Shuar and Achuar tribes, who are prevented from accessing large tracts of their traditional farming and hunting land.[19]

Mine Action Program

Coordination and management

CENDESMI is responsible for coordinating mine action operations, conducting mine/ERW risk education, and assisting survivors. The Demining General Command (Comando General de Desminado, CGD) of the Ecuadorian army, the operational unit of CENDESMI, carries out demining operations.

Since 2001, the OAS Program for Integrated Action against Antipersonnel Mines (Programa de Asistencia a la Acción Integral Contra las Minas Antipersonal, AICMA) has assisted Ecuador in executing and managing its national demining plan. The Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in South America (Misión de Asistencia a la Remoción de Minas en Suramérica, MARMINAS), established by the Inter-American Defense Board in May 2003 to support mine clearance in Ecuador and Peru, provides technical advice to the OAS and monitors demining operations.[20] CENDESMI reported that in 2007, seven international monitors (five Brazilian and two Chilean) from MARMINAS supported demining operations.[21]

Ecuador’s National Demining School has trained almost 500 Ecuadorian soldiers as deminers. In 2007, the school conducted six courses, and four courses were planned for 2008.[22] Mine action personnel have also participated in international courses organized by the United States and Spain. In 2006, the Component of National Supervision was created to provide CENDESMI with trained personnel and to achieve greater transparency at the national and international levels.[23]

In a meeting in Tumbes, Peru, on 1 June 2007, the governments of Ecuador and Peru declared they would make joint mine clearance in the border areas government policy and give high priority to it in order to meet the humanitarian demining component requirements of the 1998 Brasilia Peace Accord. On 6 July 2007, and again on 18–19 February 2008, the ministers of foreign affairs and defense for both countries met in Lima, Peru, within the framework referred to as “2+2,” and agreed to strengthen and promote joint humanitarian demining.[24]

Status of strategic mine action planning

CENDESMI’s Board of Directors, in coordination with Demining General Command and the OAS AICMA office in Quito, establish clearance priorities on an annual basis. In 2008, the communities of Teniente Ortiz and Soldado Monge in Morona Santiago province were the priority for clearance, in addition to the joint operations with Peru in the Condor Mountain Range.[25]

Integration of mine action with relief, reconstruction and development

The government of Ecuador has never reported any strong links between mine clearance and development, although agricultural production, mining, and tourism are affected, and each sector could expand if the areas were free from landmines. Demining in the provinces of El Oro, Loja and Morona Santiago, and in Amazonas department in Peru, is said to contribute to the development of border areas, including the construction of three major roads and an international bridge between the two countries, expected to directly benefit 500,000 inhabitants.[26]

Although no post-clearance land use survey has been conducted in Ecuador since 2006, the impact in each province has been different and the expected use of the land is known. In El Oro and Loja provinces, increased mining of natural resources, agriculture, and tourism are possible, whereas in Morona Santiago and Pastaza provinces, hunting and better transit points for the population and the army are anticipated. In Zamora Chinchipe province, more mining for natural resources could occur after mine clearance.[27]

Mine action evaluations

In 2006, a monitoring mission was conducted for the European Commission (EC)-funded joint Ecuador-Peru demining project in the Condor Mountain Range.[28] In January 2008, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) conducted a regional evaluation of the EC 2002–2007 mine action strategy. The objective of the evaluation was to generate lessons for the EC that could be applied to improve the planning and management of existing and future mine action projects, programs, and policies.[29] As of August 2008, the evaluation was not publicly available.

Demining

The CGD is CENDESMI’s operational demining unit and conducts all demining operations. In 2007, the Army Engineering Corps from the Ecuadorian army consisted of 60 deminers with plans, according to the Article 5 deadline extension request, to increase the number of deminers to 100 in October 2009.[30] CENDESMI operates two regional commands. One is the Tarqui regional command covering El Oro and Loja provinces and the other is the Amazonas regional command in Morona Santiago province.[31] The missions assigned to these units include mine clearance, technical survey, minefield marking, victim assistance, and mine/ERW risk education.[32]

Identifying hazardous areas

Since 2006, Ecuador has conducted several impact surveys to better determine the extent of the mine contamination. In 2006 and 2007, impact surveys in Soldado Monge and Remolinos communities in Morona Santiago province identified 20 new SHAs. In 2006, in Zapotillo canton in Loja province, one new SHA was identified. The impact survey in March 2006 in Pastaza and Arajuno cantons in Pastaza province identified 10 SHAs containing 29 mines over an estimated area of 10,000m2, and affecting five communities. The impact survey begun in 2006 in Zamora Chinchipe province was still ongoing as of May 2008. The workplan in the Article 5 deadline extension request indicates clearance in Zamora Chinchipe is not planned to begin until 2015.[33]

According to Ecuador’s latest Article 7 report, teams under the CGD’s supervision had not yet surveyed two SHAs in Taisha canton in Morona Santiago province, and Arenillas canton in El Oro province, and therefore no information on the size of the areas or the number of landmines was available.[34] According to CENDESMI, no surveys were planned for 2008.[35]

Marking and fencing of affected areas

In 2007, one new SHA was marked and in 2008, as of April, no new SHAs had been identified or marked.[36]

Mine and ERW clearance in 2007 and 2008

In 2007, the Army Engineering Corps cleared 2,586m2, destroying 144 antipersonnel mines, four antivehicle mines, and one item of UXO.[37] In 2007, with a US$826,836 budget, clearing 2,500m2 cost $330 per m2, an exceptionally high figure (approximately $1 per m2 is an average benchmark for most countries).[38]

In July 2007, according to its Article 5 deadline extension request, the US Department of Defense provided Ecuador with a piece of “mechanical vegetation clearing equipment called ‘Tempest System,’” which has been used since September 2007 for demining in the province of Morona Santiago, where approximately one-half of the total remaining mined areas are located. It is said that the Tempest can increase deminer productivity fivefold.[39] In July 2008, the US Department of Defense agreed Ecuador could use the Tempest for a further year.[40]

Summary of Efforts to Comply with Article 5

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Ecuador is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 October 2009.

Since 2005, Ecuador has declared its commitment to meeting its Article 5 obligations on a number of occasions. In 2005, the OAS-EC agreement for the joint Ecuador-Peru project stated the funded activities should enable Ecuador to “achieve the objective of declaring its national territory free from antipersonnel mines in 2010.” In 2006, CENDESMI indicated that Ecuador “would make all the necessary efforts to conclude operations in 2009, and therefore achieve the deadline mandated by the Treaty.”[41] A 2006 planning document for the OAS mine action project in Ecuador stated that the goals of the national mine action authorities were to meet its Article 5 obligations. One of the key goals was to achieve a “mine-safe” status by 2010.[42] On 31 March 2008, however, Ecuador requested an extension to its Article 5 deadline of eight years—to 30 September 2017.[43] A revised “Executive Summary,” submitted in August 2008, did not change the request.[44]

In its Article 5 deadline extension request, Ecuador listed several reasons why it was unable to meet its 10-year deadline and gave the same justification for why it needed eight additional years to meet its treaty obligations. They are: extreme weather; high density of vegetation; tropical diseases (malaria); the need for mechanical clearance; difficult access to SHAs; poor communication systems in the mined regions; lack of precise coordinates on the location of the mines; irregular terrain; and large quantities of mineral stones.[45] Ecuador also considered a planned increase in personnel when projecting the time it needed.[46]

The extension request also states that international financial support would be critical in meeting its obligations by 2017. Beginning in 2010, Ecuador pledged to contribute $850,000, or 75% more per year than the government has contributed annually since 1999. An annual contribution of $850,000 represents approximately 64% of the projected eight-year budget.[47]

In 1999–2007, Ecuador averaged 13,190m2 of clearance per year. The average output per year in 2005–2007 was 7,466m2, and in 2007 Ecuador cleared just 2,500m2. Even when considering the climate and terrain as obstacles the annual outputs seem extremely low, by any standard.

Demining in 1999–2007[48]

Year

Mine clearance(m2)

2007

2,500

2006

12,200

2005

7,700

2004

12,400

2003

25,000

1999–2002

58,907

Total

118,707

Average per year

13,190

According to the Article 5 deadline extension request, new equipment and more deminers should result in a higher annual productivity rate than the 13,190m2 annual average for 1999–2007. To meet the new deadline, however, should the extension period be granted, Ecuador will have to clear five times more than its 1999–2007 annual average, or release 65,000m2 per year, to meet its Article 5 obligations by 2017.

Ecuador was said to be negotiating with the US Department of Defense in June 2008 for detection equipment that can be used in rocky riverbeds in the provinces of Loja and El Oro.[49]

Annual clearance plan in Article 5 extension request[50]

 

Planned area to clear (m2)

No. of mines expected to find

Year 1

21,365

86

Year 2

10,150

28

Year 3

8,460

16

Year 4

12,264

136

Year 5

6,576

57

Year 6

52,354

617

Years 7–8

323,390

4,081

Total

434,559

5,021

Estimated “other” by machine

67,768

932

Total remaining to clear

502,327

5,953

The extension request’s clearance plan shows that annual productivity rates will remain the same as they have been since 1999 for the first five years of the plan. Then, in years 7 to 8 of the plan, when clearance will predominantly occur in Morona Santiago, where most of the remaining SHAs are located, annual clearance rates will soar to unprecedented levels. Clearance in years 3 and 5 will occur in some of the most difficult terrain (the justification for the low projected annual output). El Oro and Loja provinces, with the remaining 67,768m2 of SHA and 932 mines, will be cleared when the proper mechanical equipment is identified for the mined terrain.[51]

The ICBL has stated that, overall, the duration of the request seems excessive. The amount of land planned to be cleared each year and the amount of mines expected to be found are very small relative to the amount of resources allocated and productivity by other states facing similar circumstances. Ecuador should be presenting a plan that aims to achieve much more than it has in the past, especially given that the joint working arrangements with Peru that took time to develop are now in place.[52]

Landmine/ERW Casualties

No new mine/ERW casualties were recorded in 2007 and in the first quarter of 2008 in Ecuador, and there were no demining accidents.[53] The last recorded mine incident was reported in 2004 when one incident caused seven casualties.[54]

The total number of mine/ERW casualties in Ecuador is not known, as there was no systematic data collection mechanism for mine incidents before the national mine action program started in mid-2001.[55] Casualties are collected through so-called impact studies which identify casualties in specific areas, but no new information was obtained between 2006 and through May 2008.[56] Studies for some areas are still pending.[57]

OAS AICMA maintains a registry of casualties and the services received by survivors. The registry contained information on 19 civilian casualties occurring between 1981 and 2004 (four people killed and 15 injured);[58] there were also three military survivors.[59] In 2008, CENDESMI reported that one of the survivors had died due to psychological trauma.[60]

There are at least 1.6 million persons with disabilities in Ecuador (13.2% of the population).[61]

Landmine/ERW Risk Education[62]

During 2007, mine/ERW risk education (RE) continued to be carried out by the CGD in cooperation with OAS AICMA and the Ecuadorian Red Cross (ERC). OAS AICMA continued to coordinate RE activities.[63] They reached 1,875 people in El Oro, Loja and Morona Santiago provinces; 36 people were trained to provide RE sessions. The number is similar to 2006 when 1,737 received RE.[64] As in 2006, the main focus was on Morona Santiago (1,229 beneficiaries, 66% of the total beneficiaries).

RE is provided through multi-day participatory campaigns and follow-up visits are made to at-risk communities. Campaigns target adults (mainly farmers or hunters) and children, as well as teachers and local leaders. Activities aim to provide solutions to risk-taking behaviors in affected communities.[65] Methods used include house-to-house visits and distribution of materials including posters. The key message disseminated is “Mines Kill.”

In May 2007, the CGD, OAS AICMA, and the ERC started the first of four phases in the second RE campaign in Tiwinza canton in Morona Santiago province, which focuses specifically on children in indigenous communities.[66] During the first phase, mayors and teachers in 10 communities were trained to duplicate RE messages in their communities. It was planned to have 15 Shuar leaders among the participants, but only eight of the leaders from selected communities and two others from non-selected communities were able to participate. The educators also received materials in Spanish and the local Shuar language. Translation of messages into Shuar appears to resolve the language barrier previously reported to reduce the effectiveness of RE in Shuar communities.[67]

In October and November, the second phase of the campaign, training and RE activities were provided to 13 Shuar communities, benefiting 729 people (children, teachers and community leaders). One new community, Shaime, was added to the list of areas in need of RE, bringing the total in Tiwinza to 16. Some 60 people received RE in Shaime in 2007. The third phase will address safe behaviors and materials will be disseminated in all communities. The fourth phase will be a campaign to “reinforce” the messages.[68] The first RE campaign in the canton was conducted in 2005–2006 and reached 2,075 people.[69]

In November 2007, RE was provided to some 500 Ecuadorian and Peruvian civilian authorities, military and police at the bi-national border camp of Río Morona forest (V Campamento Binacional Fronterizo de Selva Río Morona) at the Ecuador-Peruvian border in Morona Santiago province.

In Loja province, RE activities focused in Zapotillo canton and reached 611 people in March 2007, with a repeat visit in August. In El Oro province, communities in the Arenillas canton were visited in March and a follow-up visit was conducted in August; 35 people were reached. OAS AICMA maintains a toll-free telephone number for the public to report the presence of mines and ERW and listen to RE messages.

Regular monitoring visits to marked sites showed that marking/fences were in good condition.

At the Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Ecuador stated that some 37,000 people had benefited from RE,[70] which includes 21,060 people reached by radio in El Oro province.[71] In El Oro, 23,086 people were reached between 2002 and 2008.[72]

Victim Assistance

Mine/ERW survivors are treated within the general health system, but assistance for military survivors is said to be better than that provided to civilians. In some mine-affected provinces, the poor road network necessitates evacuation of casualties by helicopter.[73]

Physical rehabilitation is provided mainly by the Hermano Miguel Foundation (Fundación Hermano Miguel) in Quito and its Comprehensive Care Center for People with Disabilities (Centro de Atención Integral al Discapacitado, CAID) which provides prosthetic and orthopedic devices. The center is well-equipped and has staff working to international standards, but the cost of devices limits access for persons with disabilities. The center receives annual visits from volunteers who assist in providing services to poor patients.[74]

Ecuador has legislation supporting survivors of the Cenepa conflict and various laws protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.[75] Legislation is generally enforced, although building accessibility remained a concern. The law also stipulates that enterprises with more than 25 staff need to employ persons with disabilities. Through the “Ecuador without Barriers” initiative led by the Vice-President, jobs for 1,184 persons with disabilities were created in 2007.[76] Poor persons with disabilities can also obtain monthly pensions and tax exemptions under the law.[77] On 3 April 2008, Ecuador ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

The CENDESMI mine action strategy includes victim assistance.[78] The Ministry of Public Health is part of CENDESMI.[79] Activities, including medical and rehabilitation care, socio-economic reintegration, material support and social security, are carried out by OAS AICMA. As of June 2008, five civilian survivors had received assistance and seven were on the waiting list.[80] In 2007, two men and one woman received orthopedic assistance under the program; one survivor received multiple services.[81]

The National Council on Disabilities (Consejo Nacional de Discapacidades, CONADIS) oversees government policies and information on disability issues.[82]

In Form J of its Article 7 report, Ecuador reported on services provided through OAC AICMA. In July 2007, it was agreed that Peruvian deminers involved in mine/ERW accidents would be evacuated though Ecuadorian territory to a hospital in Quito.[83]

After a monitoring visit in 2006, the ICRC Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD) intended to introduce polypropylene prosthetics technology at CAID to reduce costs. However, due to complicated customs regulations, the donation of materials and equipment to assist 50 patients was delayed. Polypropylene technology had not been introduced at the end of 2007. One technician received refresher training at the regional SFD center in Managua, Nicaragua, and local technicians received technical support during an SFD follow-up visit.[84]

Support for Mine Action

Landmine Monitor is not aware of any comprehensive long-term cost estimates for meeting mine action needs (including RE and victim assistance) in Ecuador. In March 2008, Ecuador provided a cost estimate totaling $10,560,040 (€7,701,874) for fulfilling its Article 5 obligations during the period from 2010 to 2017, with annual costs totaling $1,238,100 (€902,998) from 2010 to 2013 and increasing to $1,401,910 (€1,022,471) for each of the remaining four years.[85] In July 2008, Ecuador revised its total cost estimate for Article 5 fulfillment down to $9,321,940 (€6,798,877) for the same period, but did not provide a rationale for the change in funding or any new breakdown of annual costs.[86] Ecuador has not provided a total cost estimate for fulfilling victim assistance or RE obligations.

International support for Ecuador’s mine action programming to date has occurred mainly through the framework cooperation agreement signed between Ecuador and OAS AICMA in 2001. OAS AICMA is responsible for management of funds allocated to Ecuador through the agreement.[87] Ecuador and Peru continued in 2007 to coordinate resource mobilization as part of their overall cooperative efforts in mine action. Ecuador and Peru held joint meetings in 2007 with international donors to secure financial and technical assistance. Another meeting was planned for some time in 2008.[88] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs mobilizes international resources from sources outside the OAS.[89]

National support for mine action

National support to mine action in 2007 by the government of Ecuador was reported to be equivalent to roughly $500,000 (€364,671). Support consisted of provision of 60 deminers, equipment, explosive materials to the operations of the CGD, and a helicopter and crew for emergency evacuation.[90] Ecuador also reported $326,836 (€238,375) in additional funding from national agencies.[91] National funding in 2006 was reported as €14,000 ($17,588), based solely on contributions reported by OAS AICMA. In its Article 5 extension request, Ecuador reports an annual commitment of $850,000 from 2010–2017.[92] At the June 2008 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Ecuador stated a commitment of $500,000 per year prior to the Article 5 extension period, increasing to $850,000 per year for the duration of the extension period.[93] Although Ecuador revised its total cost estimate for mine clearance in July 2008, it did not revise or comment on future national funding commitments.

International cooperation and assistance

In 2007, Spain reported providing $109,688 (€80,000) through OAS AICMA for unspecified mine action in Ecuador.[94] Reported mine action funding in 2007 was approximately 66% less than reported in 2006. Specific annual funding to Ecuador has declined every year since 2005. However, as in previous years, regional funding was provided in 2007 for mine clearance at the Ecuador-Peru border with no breakdown of funds allocated for each country. Canada contributed C$171,505 ($159,777) and Italy contributed €14,000 ($19,195), both through OAS AICMA.[95] The OAS reported that previous EC funds for border mine clearance, committed in 2006 and totaling €1 million, were split equally between the mine action authorities in Ecuador and Peru.[96]

Ecuador reported confirmed funding from OAS AICMA for 2008–2009 totaling $409,284. Contributions are reported from Canada, Spain and the EC.[97] In June 2008, Ecuador stated that it required $1.5 million per year to fulfill its Article 5 obligations, including $1 million from international donations.[98] This is presumably based on cost estimates solely for 2008 and 2009. Based on Ecuador’s March 2008 cost estimates, $388,100 in international funds per year are required from 2010–2013 and $551,910 from 2014–2017.[99] (Ecuador has not since adjusted these requirements in line with its revised, July 2008 cost estimates.) While funding at 2007 levels appears insufficient to meet Ecuador’s short-term mine action needs, confirmed national and international funding for 2008 and 2009 appears close to meeting the long-term financial requirements of Ecuador’s Article 5 deadline extension request. However, neither national nor international funds appear to fully address Ecuador’s outstanding victim assistance needs.


[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 25 April 2008; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, President, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008, p. 1.

[2] Previously, Ecuador submitted Article 7 reports on 30 April 2007, 3 May 2006 (for calendar year 2005), 24 January 2006 (for calendar year 2004), 23 June 2004, 31 May 2002, 5 March 2001, 23 August 2000, and 29 March 2000. A report dated 30 April 2003 has not been posted on the UN website.

[3] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 351.

[4] Raúl Tortolero, “Documentan muerte de Reyes por minas” (“Documentation of the death of Reyes by mines”), EXOnline, 25 March 2008, www.exonline.com. See report on Colombia in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[5] Article 7 Report, Form G, 25 April 2008. Ecuador revised this total several times. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 402.

[6] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008, p. 2; and Article 7 Report, Form D, 25 April 2008.

[7] Article 7 Report, Form D, 25 April 2008.

[8] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 402.

[9] “Ecuadoran troops find weapons, chemicals at clandestine camp,” BBC Monitoring Service for the Americas, 22 April 2008.

[10] Article 7 Report, Form D, 25 April 2008.

[11] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 17.

[12] “Section I: Mine Action Profile–Ecuador and Peru,” OAS AICMA, www.aicma.oas.org.

[13] The data in Annex 2 of the extension request and the narrative of the extension request do not completely match. The remaining SHA referred to in this report was calculated using data found in the table in Annex 2 of the extension request by subtracting the total area cleared from the total SHA in each of the five remaining mine-affected provinces. Ecuador’s Statement to the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008, said that 498,542m2 remained. There are also small differences in the number of mines remaining within a range of up to 100 mines and the number of tasks remaining, and the estimated contaminated area differs by 3,785m2.

[14] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 7 May 2008.

[15] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 20. The number of mines quoted in the extension request does not add up to the original estimated number and the actual number found. The number of remaining mines is estimated to be 5,953, but it is likely to prove to be a different number once clearance is completed.

[16] Article 7 Report, 25 April 2008, pp. 6–7.

[17] Based on the table in Annex 2 of the Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, pp. 21–25.

[20] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 26 July 2007.

[21] Ibid, 7 May 2008.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 17.

[24] Ibid, p. 8.

[25] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 7 May 2008.

[26] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 25 April 2007.

[27] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 7 May 2008.

[28] EC, “Monitoring Report PERU-PE-Mine Action in the Condor Mountain Range of Peru/Ecuador,” MR-30542.01, 10 July 2007. For details of the EC project, see Landmine Monitor Report 2006, pp. 400–401.

[29] Email from Ted Paterson, Head of Evaluation and Policy Research, GICHD, 5 May 2008.

[30] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 16.

[31] Ibid, p. 17.

[32] OAS, “Mine Action in the Condor Mountain Range of Peru/Ecuador,” Grant application form to the EC, May 2003, p. 6.

[33] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 55 and Annex 3.

[34] Article 7 Report, 25 April 2008, p. 7.

[35] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 7 May 2008.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 52.

[39] Ibid, p. 42.

[40] Emails from Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 24 July 2008; and Adriana C. Frenchia, OHMA-Mine Action Program, OAS, 26 August 2008.

[41] Email from Jaime Barberis Martínez, then-President, CENDESMI, 17 May 2006.

[42] “Section I: Mine Action Profile–Ecuador and Peru,” OAS AICMA, www.aicma.oas.org, p. 2.

[43] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 10 May 2006.

[44] Article 5 deadline Extension Request (Revised Executive Summary), 3 July 2008.

[45] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 13.

[46] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008.

[47] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 54.

[48] Ibid, Annex 2, p. 82.

[49] Ibid, p. 55.

[50] Ibid, pp. 63–67.

[51] Ibid, p. 67.

[52] ICBL, “ICBL Critique of Ecuador Extension Request,” May 2008.

[53] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[54] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 329.

[55] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 356.

[56] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[57] Article 7 Report, Form C, 25 April 2008.

[58] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 357; and Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 10.

[59] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 357.

[60] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008; and “Victimas de Minas” (“Mine Victims”), OAS AICMA, www.aicma-ec.org.

[61] “Distribución de la personas con discapacidad por tipo de deficiencia” (“Distribution of people with disabilities according to type of disability”), CONADIS, www.conadis.gov.ec.

[62] Unless noted otherwise, information taken from Article 7 Report, Form I, 25 April 2008.

[63] See also “Educacion Preventiva” (“Preventive Education”), OAS AICMA, www.aicma-ec.org.

[64] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 355.

[65] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 44.

[66] Statement of Ecuador, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, 19 November 2007.

[67] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 356.

[68] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 48.

[69] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 356.

[70] Statement of Ecuador, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, 19 November 2007.

[71] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 356.

[72] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 44.

[73] Ibid, p. 53.

[74] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, February 2008, p. 34; and see also, “CAID Programs,” Hermano Miguel Foundation, www.fundacionhermanomiguel.org.

[75] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[76] US Department of State, “2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ecuador,” Washington, DC, 11 March 2008.

[77] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[78] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 6.

[79] Statement of Ecuador, Eighth Meeting of States Parties, Dead Sea, 19 November 2007.

[80] “Victimas de Minas” (“Mine Victims”), OAS AICMA, www.aicma-ec.org.

[81] Article 7 Report, Form J (incorrectly labeled as Form E), 25 April 2008.

[82] US Department of State, “2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ecuador,” Washington, DC, 11 March 2008.

[83] Ibid.

[84] ICRC SFD, “Annual Report 2007,” Geneva, February 2008, p. 34.

[85] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 70.

[86] Article 5 deadline Extension Request (Revised Executive Summary), 3 July 2008, p. 5.

[87] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 50.

[88] Ibid, p. 51.

[89] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008.

[90] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[91] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 52.

[92] Ibid, p. 70.

[93] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008.

[94] Article 7 Report, Form J, 25 April 2008. The OAS reported contributions to Ecuador of $107,736 from Spain in 2007. Email from Adriana C. Frenchia, OAS, 26 August 2008.

[95] Emails from Carly Volkes, Program Officer, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 20 May 2008; and and Manfredo Capozza, Humanitarian Demining Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1 February 2008. The OAS reported contributions to Ecuador of $84,774 and $9,326, from Canada and Italy respectively, in 2007. Email from Adriana C. Frenchia, OAS, 26 August 2008.

[96] “Section I: Mine Action Profile–Ecuador and Peru,” OAS AICMA, www.aicma.oas.org.

[97] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Bolívar Torres Cevallos, CENDESMI, 6 May 2008.

[98] Statement of Ecuador, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 4 June 2008.

[99] Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 31 March 2008, p. 70.