Cluster Munition Ban Policy
Five-Year Review: State Party Guatemala ratified the convention on 3 November 2010 and enacted implementing legislation for the convention in August 2012. It has participated in all of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties and intersessional meetings. Guatemala has condemned new use of cluster munitions by any actor under any circumstance on several occasions. In its initial transparency report for the convention provided in 2011, Guatemala confirmed it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions.
The Republic of Guatemala signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 3 November 2010, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 May 2011.
Guatemala’s implementing legislation for the convention is the Law on Cluster Munitions and/or Explosive Bomblets enacted on 14 August 2012, whichimposes penal sanctions of 12–18 years imprisonment for engaging in acts prohibited by the law, while assistance with these acts is subject to a prison sentence of 10–15 years.
Guatemala provided its initial Article 7 transparency measures report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 31 August 2011 and submitted annual updates in 2012 and 2013. As of 1 July 2015, it has not provided any additional annual updates due by 30 April each year.
Guatemala actively participated in the Oslo Process that produced the Convention on Cluster Munitions and opposed efforts to weaken the convention in any way.
Guatemala has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San Jose, Costa Rica in September 2014, where it made a general statement. Guatemala has attended every intersessional meeting of the convention held in Geneva, including in June 2015. It has also participated in regional workshops on cluster munitions, most recently in Santiago, Chile in December 2013.
Guatemala has condemned recent use of cluster munitions in South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. In September 2014, it stated, “we firmly condemn any use of cluster munitions under any circumstances by anyone,” describing the use as a violation of international humanitarian law. Guatemala further stated, “we deplore the use of use of cluster munitions in in Syria, Ukraine, and South Sudan.”
At the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October 2014, Guatemala reiterated its support for the Convention on Cluster Munitions and said it “strongly” condemns the use of cluster munitions by any actor and under any circumstances, and reaffirms that this act constitutes a violation of the principles enshrined in international humanitarian law. Guatemala has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.
On interpretive matters relating to the convention,Guatemala stated in May 2010 that in its view “the stockpiling of cluster munitions of other countries in the territory of a State Party to the Convention, as well as the investment in its production is prohibited according to Article 1 of the Convention.”
Guatemala said in March 2009, “Even though the Convention is not explicit…Guatemala agrees that the transit of cluster munitions in the territory of the States Parties should not be permitted.” This position is affirmed in Guatemala’s national implementation legislation, which states that the “trading, illegal possession or carrying” (“intermediación, tenencia y portación”) of cluster munitions is prohibited. In its 2009 statement, it also noted its opposition to the convention’s provision on interoperability and stated, “Guatemala would not participate in any military operation with States that use cluster munitions.” Although Guatemala’s implementation legislation allows the country’s forces to participate in joint operations with states not party that might engage in prohibited acts, the law does not waive its absolute prohibitions in such situations.
Guatemala is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling
Guatemala has declared that it has no cluster munitions stockpiled, including for training purposes.
Guatemala’s implementing legislation allows for cluster munitions to be retained or acquired for training purposes and states that any retained munitions “will not exceed the minimum number that the National Ministry of Defence considers absolutely necessary.”
 The initial report covers the period from 1 May to 31 August 2011, the 2012 report covers the period from 1 September 2011 to 30 April 2012, and the 2013 report is for the period from 1 April 2012 to 30 April 2013.
 For details on Guatemala’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), p. 85.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 69/189, 18 December 2014. Guatemala voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.
 Letter No. 580/MRAC/2010 from the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the UN in Geneva, 14 May 2010.
 See Article 3, Law Regarding Cluster Munitions and/or Explosive Bomblets, Decree number 22-2012, 14 August 2012.
 Letter No. 136/ONU/09 from the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the UN in Geneva, 19 March 2009.
 Statement of Guatemala, Convention on Cluster Munitions Second Meeting of States Parties, Beirut, 14 September 2011; statement of Guatemala, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 10 November 2010. Notes by the CMC; and Letter No. 136/ONU/09 from the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the UN in Geneva, 19 March 2009.
 “La cantidad de dichas armas retenidas o adquiridas para el efecto, no excederá el número mínimo que el Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional considera absolutamente necesario para estos fines.” See Article 6, Law Regarding Cluster Munitions and/or Explosive Bomblets, Decree number 22-2012, 14 August 2012.
Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Guatemala signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 26 March 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 September 1999. Legislation to enforce the antipersonnel mine prohibition domestically was passed in 1997.
Guatemala frequently attends meetings of the treaty, most recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it did not provide a statement. Guatemala did not attend the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, nor did it attend the recent intersessional meetings of the treaty in Geneva in May 2019. Guatemala previously consistently submitted updated annual Article 7 transparency reports but has not done so since 2017.
Previously, Guatemala has served as co-rapporteur and then co-chair of the Standing Committees on Stockpile Destruction (2002–2004) and the General Status and Operation of the Convention (2004–2006). At the Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Guatemala announced that it has helped form a working group along with several other South American states in order to monitor implementation of the Cartagena Action Plan and to encourage cooperation and victim assistance.
Guatemala is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Guatemala is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Use, production, transfer, and stockpile
Guatemala has never used, produced, imported, exported, or stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including for training purposes.
In April 2011, eight landmines were found in a narcotics raid in Guatemala City. American defense analysts stated “with a high degree of confidence that many of these weapons and munitions came from Guatemalan military stock.”
 Legislative Decree 106-97, which prohibits the production, purchase, sale, importation, exportation, transit, use or possession of antipersonnel mines or their composite parts.
 Statement of Guatemala, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 24 June 2011.
 Tim Johnson, “Drug Gangs Help Themselves to Central American Military Arsenals,” McClatchy Newspapers, 21 April 2011.