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OAS and El Salvador Sign Agreement on Firearms Marking

  December 13, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Hugo Martínez Bonilla, today signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of the project, “Promoting the Marking of Firearms in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Through the project, the OAS will provide El Salvador a marking and basic training team with the goal of helping the country strengthen its capacity to identify confiscated weapons and determine their origin.

During the signing ceremony, Secretary General Insulza asserted that the agreement “is evidence of the clear commitment by the Government of El Salvador in the fight against crime and organized crime, as well as of its leadership in taking concrete steps to face such phenomena, given that crime is the issue of most concern to the residents of our region.”

“Illegal arms trafficking is one of the principal criminal symptoms associated with organized crime in our region,” the Secretary General of the OAS said, adding that “the violence that arises from such trafficking is responsible for 80 percent of homicides in the region.”

The head of the hemispheric organization thanked the Government of the United States for its support in the signing of the agreement, and recalled that in the framework of the OAS “our countries have designed the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA), adopted in 1997, and to this date it has been ratified by 30 Member States.” He also made a call to other nations to ratify it.

For his part, Minister Martínez said the implementation of the agreement “will contribute to improve the capacities of El Salvador in this specific field.” “It is a privilege to me to be here today in this historic building and signing this agreement with Mr. Secretary General for the promotion of firearms marking in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in this case specifically in El Salvador,” he added. Minister Martínez also noted with satisfaction the link between the signing of the agreement and the theme his Government has chosen for the General Assembly in San Salvador 2011: “Citizen Security in the Americas.”

The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin; the Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Joaquín Maza; and the Permanent Representatives of Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United States and Guatemala were present at the signing ceremony, which took place in the office of the Secretary General in Washington, DC.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-484/10