UNLIREC steps up efforts in Guatemala to prevent armed violence and combat illicit firearms trafficking

Legal practitioners in Guatemala received focused training on combating illicit firearms trafficking through UNLIREC’s Specialized Training Course celebrated in the country’s capital. In parallel, UNLIREC held a regional best practice seminar on policy development in firearms control and armed violence prevention with policy-makers on 5 September. Both activities were carried out in collaboration with the Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council.

During the four-day specialized course, 28 legal practitioners and judicial officials were exposed to relevant national and international legal frameworks, inter-institutional and international cooperation mechanisms; and technical aspects of firearms and ammunition, including ballistic information. All participants are now better equipped with the necessary technical and practical knowledge and legal tools to assist them in their efforts to more effectively combat the scourge caused by illicit trafficking in firearms. Participants came from a variety of governmental institution, including the Office of the Public Prosecutor, National Civilian Police, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Firearms Control Directorate.

The high-level policy seminar, on the other hand, brought together 26 high level representatives to contextualize the phenomenon of armed violence in Latin America and expose decision-makers to a wide range of policies related to firearms control measures and armed violence prevention and reduction initiatives. Two emblematic regional “best practices” were presented during the one-day seminar, namely, the Weapons Free Zone (WFZ) Programme from El Salvador, implemented in more than 30 municipalities across the country, and Brazil´s well-known Disarmament Campaign and Statute, which – to date – represents the most important disarmament campaign undertaken in the continent. Participants from the Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council, Ministry of Government, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Parliamentarians, CSOs, and advisor in the public security sector used the information acquired to contribute to their resolve in combating illicit firearms trafficking in their country and the region.

These activities form part of the technical assistance provided by UNLIREC to the Latin American region in support of these countries’ efforts to enhance public security and aid in State implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN 2001 PoA).

For more information on UNLIREC visit [www.unlirec.org]. Please direct all questions or inquiries to Ms Amanda Cowl,

Political Affairs Officer, at [cowl@unlirec.org].

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