17 May 2010
Countdown to Entry into Force - Week 4: Brazil
The Brazilian Campaign against Landmines and Cluster Munitions urges Brazil to stop producing cluster bombs and join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.As the only Latin American country that still reportedly produces cluster munitions, Brazil openly opposed the development of the Convention on Cluster Munitions through the "Oslo Process" and has not signed the treaty."Despite the growing global revulsion against cluster munitions, Brazil refuses to give up these weapons that kill and maim civilians," said Gustavo Oliveira Vieira of the Brazilian Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, a Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) member organisation. "All of our neighbours have stopped producing cluster bombs, recognising the fact that they are outdated and have little military utility. It’s time for Brazil to stop making excuses, stop making cluster bombs and sign the Convention."While Brazil has never used cluster munitions, it has actively produced and exported the weapons. Three Brazilian companies are known to have produced cluster munitions and, as of 2007, a further 12 civil industries reportedly assisted production. Little is known about Brazil’s stockpile.Brazil’s neighbours Argentina and Chile are both former cluster bomb producers that no longer manufacture or export the weapons. Chile signed the Convention and is expected to ratify it in the near future.The CMC believes that cluster munitions have no place in modern military arsenals, and their use can be counter-productive in modern warfare, which often takes place in urban areas where the weapon’s humanitarian harm is magnified. At a recent congressional hearing on Brazil’s production and possible use of cluster munitions, it came to light that Brazilian military practice prohibits the weapons’ use in urban areas and that some of its current stockpile has become obsolete and must be destroyed.The CMC urges all countries to join the Convention without delay, and points to a number of positive steps Brazil could take as it considers joining, including to:
- clarify what, if any, production of cluster munitions is ongoing in Brazil;
- place a moratorium on use, production and transfer of the weapons; and
- provide information on its stockpile, including plans to destroy its obsolete cluster munitions.
- Brazil chapter in the May 2009 report, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice