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OAS Supports Destruction of Arms and Ammunition Turned Over by Gangs and Seized from Organized Crime in El Salvador

  September 26, 2012

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Defense of El Salvador today certified the completion of Phase I of the destruction of arms and ammunition turned over by gangs and seized from organized crime in the Central American country, which was carried out with technical support from the OAS Program of Assistance for the Control of Arms and Destruction of Munitions.

The ceremony, held at the headquarters of the Special Brigade of Military Security in San Salvador, was presided over by the Minister of National Defense of El Salvador, General José Atilio Benítez, and the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Ambassador Adam Blackwell.

The elimination of the weapons seized from common criminals was carried out by members of the Armed Forces of El Salvador with training, technical, logistical and financial support and certification from the OAS Program of Assistance for the Control of Arms and Destruction of Munitions, and sponsored by the government of the United States. During this first phase, a total of 828 guns and 210,000 rounds were destroyed. The process of the destruction of arms and ammunition was carried out according to international standards.

The PACAM Program has been supporting the efforts of El Salvador in its control processes, destruction of weapons and munitions, and the rehabilitation of stocks since the country’s Ministry of National Defense and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States signed an agreement to this effect on June 20.

The OAS has assisted the countries of Central America destroying more than 1,800 tons of confiscated, obsolete or expired munitions in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Similarly, during the last two years, the organization has supported and certified the destruction of some 4,000 weapons seized from organized crime in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

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Reference: E-333/12