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Cablegate: Few U.S.-Manufactured Land Mines in Ecuador

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS QUITO 002552

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR PM/WRA: KATHERINE BAKER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KHDP PREL PGOV EC PE
SUBJECT: FEW U.S.-MANUFACTURED LAND MINES IN ECUADOR

REF: SECSTATE 200879

1. In response to Reftel, Poloff September 20 contacted
Guillermo Leal, chief of the OAS Humanitarian Demining (HD)
mission in Ecuador. Leal noted the only U.S.-produced land
mine found in Ecuador was the M18A1 Claymore device. The GoE
had destroyed seven in-stock Claymores in 2001, Leal
recalled; he believed the Ecuadorian Army maintained at least
ten more in its warehouses. They were not subject to
destruction under Ecuador's Ottawa Convention
responsibilities, since the weapons were to be fired manually
by GoE soldiers, not left unattended, to be triggered by the
enemy.

2. Since the OAS HD program's inception three years ago,
sappers had uncovered no/no U.S.-produced land mines. For
comparison, the total of mines cleared in Ecuador, including
those uncovered in the Army's own efforts in the late 1990s,
was 4438. Most were of Chilean, Brazilian, or former Soviet
Union fabrication. According to the Army's own minefield
documentation, however, there are 39 pressure-triggered
Claymores remaining in Ecuador's remote Morona-Santiago
province, where HD operations soon will commence.
KENNEY

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