The Organization of American States (OAS) on March 24 donated firearms marking equipment to the Government of Uruguay to be used by the Material and Weapons Service in the Ministry of National Defense with the objective of improving controls against the illicit trafficking in this type of weapon.
The donation was made as part of the project called, “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean,” framed within the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capabilities in the area of firearms marking.
Along with the marking equipment, the OAS donated to the Government of Uruguay a computer to facilitate the process of data upkeep in firearms marking. Furthermore, the OAS Department of Public Security developed a training workshop in the facilities of the Material and Weapons Service to educate seven officials from the Ministry of National Defense on the use of firearms marking equipment.
Authorities present at the donation ceremony included the Minister of National Defense, Luis Rosadilla; General Jorge Rosales, Commander in Chief of Uruguay’s Army; Ambassador John Biehl del Río, OAS representative in Uruguay; the Ambassador of Costa Rica, Marco Vinicio Vargas; Mr. Thomas H. Lloyd, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy; Coronel Hugo Vera, Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Paraguay; and Coronel Edgard Méndez, Division Chief of the National Registry of Weapons, Material and Weapons Service of Uruguay.
The OAS General Secretariat and the Government of Uruguay formalized a cooperation agreement for the project’s implementation last January 24 at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. With the support of the Government of the United States, the project benefits 30 countries in the region through firearms marking equipment donations and the necessary training for their use.
The OAS has as its principal goal to strengthen the national capacities of the Member States to respond, in an effective and efficient way, to the growing levels of crime and violence caused by illicit trafficking in firearms. In this sense, the OAS will cooperate with countries in the region with the objective of promptly ensuring that all Member States have established policies as well as current legislation on the marking of firearms when they are manufactured and/or imported.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.