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OAS and Honduras Extend Agreement to Cooperate in Firearms Marking

  October 1, 2013

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Honduras signed today the extension of the Cooperation Agreement for the implementation of the project “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which was signed in October 2011 in the framework of the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), adopted by the institution in 1997.

At the ceremony, the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, said, "This project aims to strengthen the capacity of verifying the origin of weapons; with an identification that would strengthen the fight against illicit weapons trafficking, identify the weapons seized, and determine their origin, it will be much easier to fight this problem."

Insulza highlighted the importance of the firearms marking project, especially for the Americas, a Hemisphere that has the world's highest rate for homicide by firearms. "About 80 percent of homicides in the region are committed with firearms," he said.

The head of the OAS recalled that there are 25 countries in the region that are part of the marking of firearms project, and the amendment that was signed today at OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., will deepen the fight against the smuggling of this kind of weapons.

In 2012 the OAS gave Honduras one marking machine and one computer, and signing the extension today, Honduras will be provided with two marking machines and two computers, in addition to the necessary training provided. “We extend thus our cooperation with the Honduran authorities not only on the issue of weapons marking, but also on the issue of firearms in general, which main objective is the reduction of crime and violence," he said. The OAS Secretary General also noted that a few days ago Honduras destroyed a significant number of firearms seized.

The Permanent Representative of Honduras to the OAS, Leonidas Rosa Bautista, said "this project has been very successful in our country and in the Americas, and as a country we are honored to be able to implement this extension." Ambassador Rosa Bautista said his country hopes to "finish carrying out the project with the same success he has had so far."

Through the project "Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean", and with the support of the U.S. government, the OAS has provided 25 countries in the region with 36 marking machines, the equipment to facilitate maintaining additional data and training.

The marking of firearms—a process that mark weapons permanently with identifiable information such as serial number, name and place of manufacture or import, model and caliber—is an important step in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking as it facilitates tracing and, therefore, linking to crimes in which they were used, increasing in this way the capacity of law enforcement.

As a result, through this project, over 230 officials in the Hemisphere have already been trained with labeling techniques and data storage, and more than 260,000 firearms have been marked across the region.

The ceremony was attended by the OAS Secretary General Assistant, Albert Ramdin; the President of the Permanent Council and Ambassador of Peru, Walter Alban; the OAS Director of the Public Security Department, Paulina Duarte, and the OAS General Program on Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines and Assistance Arms and Munitions Control Coordinator, Carl Case.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-361/13