El Salvador

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


The Republic of El Salvador signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified it on 27 January 1999, and became a State Party on 1 July 1999. The treaty is enforced domestically through Article 346-C of Decree 471 (Reform of the Penal Code), which entered into force on 30 November 2004.[1]

El Salvador has attended most meetings of the treaty, most recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it provided a general statement, as well as statements on victim assistance and the Implementation Support Unit report.[2] El Salvador also attended the intersessional meetings in Geneva in May 2019. However, El Salvador did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. El Salvador has submitted almost all annual updated Article 7 transparency reports.

El Salvador is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. It is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and retention

El Salvador has reported that it has not produced antipersonnel mines.[3] El Salvador is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines, but in the past it imported antipersonnel mines, including M14 mines, M26 mines, and M18A1 Claymore mines, all manufactured by the United States.[4]

El Salvador completed destruction of its stockpile of 7,549 antipersonnel mines on 20 February 2003.[5] In its initial Article 7 report submitted in 2001, El Salvador stated that it would not retain any mines for training.[6] In subsequent reporting, El Salvador stated that the armed forces retained a total of 96 antipersonnel mines (50 M14 and 46 M26) for the purposes of training and development.[7] However, in May 2008, El Salvador reported that it destroyed 72 mines retained for training.[8] El Salvador has not reported on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, and has not used the expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines agreed by States Parties. It has not reported an updated number of mines retained for training since 2012.


There have been no reports or allegations of landmine use in El Salvador since the early 1990s.[9]

[1] The law includes penal sanctions of five to 10 years imprisonment for using, developing, producing, purchasing, stockpiling, or transferring one or more antipersonnel mines. Any individual that in any way assists with these activities can be prosecuted with a two to four year prison sentence. Diario Oficial, Vol. 365, No. 217, 22 November 2004. The text of the decree, which amends the Penal Code, is included in Article 7 Report, Section II.B, 29 April 2005.

[2] Statement of El Salvador, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2018.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms E and H, 4 March 2003.

[4] The United States (US) State Department reported that from 1982–1990, the US provided El Salvador 4,410 M14, 720 M24, and 47,244 M18A1. Fact Sheets, “US Landmine Sales by Country” and “Foreign Military Sales of US Mines,” received by Human Rights Watch on 23 February 1994.

[5] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 25 March 2004; statement of El Salvador, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 15 May 2003; and Article 7 Report, Forms A, D and F, 4 March 2003.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 31 August 2001.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Forms A and D, 29 April 2002, and subsequent reports. El Salvador has not reported on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, and has not used the expanded Form D for reporting on retained mines agreed by States Parties.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008), part 2d.

[9] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 410. Both the Salvadoran government and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) made extensive use of antipersonnel landmines during the 1980–1992 conflict.