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OAS Donates Firearms Marking Equipment to Panama

  May 23, 2012

The Organization of American States (OAS) today donated a firearms marking machine and its corresponding computer to the government of Panama to be used by the Ministry of Public Security it its plans to fight the illicit trafficking of firearms. This initiative, implemented in 23 countries of the region, is part of the efforts outlined by the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, and serves to exemplify the organization as a strategic actor in the fight against crime.

The equipment was delivered during a ceremony held at the Administrative Unit of Reverted Properties – part of the Ministry of Economy and Finances- in Panama City, and was attended by the Minister of Public Security (in charge), Alejandro Garúz, and the OAS Representative in Panama, Abigaíl Castro de Pérez, among other attendees.

This new donation—funded by the Government of the United States—is part of the program “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean,” following the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capabilities on matters of firearms marking.

Through this and other similar initiatives, the OAS seeks to promote efforts to strengthen the capacities of Member States to respond quickly and efficiently to rising levels of crime and violence generated by trafficking in firearms.

The donated equipment is used to develop a process that marks the weapons permanently with identifiable information such as serial number, caliber, model and manufacturing site. This is an essential step to help authorities identify the guns recovered at crime scenes, determine their origins and identify trafficking routes and traffickers.

To date, the following countries have signed a cooperation agreement with the OAS to participate in this program: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-187/12