04 March 2020
ICBL congratulates Mine Ban Treaty States Party, Chile, on the announcement that it has completed clearance of all landmine contamination on its territory. Chile indicated the clearance was officially completed on 27 February, two days prior to the 21st anniversary of the life-saving Treaty.
“This news is cause for celebration for survivors everywhere considering this type of weapon disproportionately affects civilians, including girls and boys. However, Chile must not forget its ongoing commitment to survivors”, said Sergio Aranibar Araya, ICBL Member and National Coordinator for the Chilean Association of Landmine and Cluster Munition Victims (Grupo de Victimas de Minas y Municiones de Chile).
As treaty members, countries are obligated to clear all mine-contaminated national territory, destroy any stockpiles of the weapon, and provide support and assistance to victims. Chile was an early supporter of the Treaty, signing on 3 December 1997 and becoming a State Party on 1 March 2002. In 2003, Chile reported it had completed destruction of all stockpiled landmines, some 299,219 in total.
Chile attended the Fourth Review Conference on a Mine Free World in December 2019, where it announced the country had successfully completed removal of 93.85 per cent of the mines on its national territory, or some 171,433 antipersonnel mines. The total remaining to be destroyed was put at 10,381 mines.
With this week’s announcement, Chile becomes the 31st State Party - in addition to one state not party, and one other area - to complete clearance of all mined areas on its territory since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force in 1999.
“Chile’s announcement underscores the commitment to preventing further landmine tragedies and achieving a mine-free world “, said Pamela Velasquez, ICBL Member and Humanitarian disarmament consultant at Instituto Ecologia Politica. “This is a great success story for all mine-affected states working towards the goal of a mine-free 2025!”
Chile is also a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and has a medium level of contamination from the banned weapon, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor 2019 Report. Chile’s mine clearance success sets the bar for meeting it’s cluster munition clearance obligations.