After gaining independence from Spain in 1816, Argentineans battled amongst themselves in political conflicts between conservatives and liberals. Naturally, due to the intensity of a structured environment aggravated by war, conflicts also arose as the military society merged with the civilians. These opposing entities battled through a long period of authoritarian rule that later ended in a military junta, which usurped the Peronists' authority in 1976. Democracy was not implemented as a governing standard until 1983.
During a 1978 conflict between Argentina and Chile, the Chilean army laid mines along its border with Argentina. According to the Landmine Monitor 2004, it is not known if Argentineans laid mines as well. On numerous occasions, Argentinean reports have stated that only the Falkland/Malvinas Islands are deemed mine-affected territories (see Falkland Islands profile). The Office of Humanitarian Demining of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces told the Landmine Monitor that there is also a problem with UXO in the islands. It said no official studies have been made on the existence of UXO in Argentina.
The 2000 Landmine Monitor reported that parts of the border
between Argentina and Chile have been mined—up to 14 different
areas, according to a news report—but the Argentinean government
maintains that all of the mines are on the Chilean side. According
to the report, there are several minefields in Argentinean territory,
many of which are unmarked. Previous reports had indicated that there were
at least eight mined areas in the regions of the Licancabur and
Llullailaco volcanos. In a
documentary filmed in the area of the Llullailaco volcano, the director of International
Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Juan José Arcuri, said,
“There are no landmines planted by Argentina in the continental
territory of the country.” An Argentinean official reiterated in
early 2005 that these reports of mined areas were unconfirmed and restated that
there are no minefields within continental Argentina. While mine clearance has in the past
been a topic in official discussions between Argentina and Chile,
the Landmine Monitor reports no progress in these discussions
Argentina has been fortunate not to have anyone killed due to landmine explosions. The Landmine Monitor reports that no landmine casualties of any kind have ever been reported in Argentina. The Landmine Monitor states in its 2003 report that the Argentinean government is considering providing a mine risk education program for people living near the mine-affected border areas.
When Argentinean officials decided to stop manufacturing
anti-personnel landmines after 1990, the demining process began. In
2002, a total of 8,004 AP mines were removed from stockpiles,
destroyed or transformed into anti-vehicle mine fuses. Argentina
ratified the Ottawa Convention in July 1999, and the Convention
entered into force in March 2000.
* Profiles are complied by MAIC staff from Landmine Monitor reports and news articles.
Carlos Nielsen Enemark