Media Center

Press Release


  September 24, 2007

The government of Ecuador delivered a report today to the Organization of American States (OAS) certifying the destruction of 1,001 antipersonnel landmines in that country. The Permanent Representative of the South American nation, Efrén A. Cocíos, reiterated Ecuador’s firm commitment in becoming one of the region’s country’s free from this scourge.

“This important achievement has been possible thanks to the unyielding decision of the National Government and the OAS Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines Program (AICMA), as well as to the generous contributions from the governments of Canada, Spain and Italy, the technical cooperation of the United States and the valuable participation of the Inter-American Defense Board’s Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in South America,” said the diplomat.

In delivering the report to OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, the Permanent Representative of Ecuador reiterated that the destruction of 1,001 landmines constitutes a sign of his country’s dedication “to maintain peace in the region, as well as to prioritize social development, respect of human rights, and humanitarian assistance.”

For his part, the head of the OAS called the antipersonnel landmines a “lamentable plague; inheritance of internal conflicts or threats of war that existed in the region in the past, and that sowed in different places, destroyed entire lives in few minutes; therefore, we will not cease to carry out this task [the destruction of these artifacts] until we have completely finished with this scourge,” he said.

The Certificate of Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines presented today by the government of Ecuador was formally signed in Quito on August 14, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Fernanda Espinoza, the Minister of Defense, Lorena Escudero, the OAS Permanent Representative in Ecuador, Hugo Bernadino Saguier Caballero, and Brazilian Naval Captain José Roberto Nunes Da Silva, head of the Assistance Mission for Mine Clearance in South America. The latter two signed as observers.

Reference: E-237/07