Brazil To Use $6.25 Billion for Voluntarily Turning In Guns
By Dialogo May 10, 2011
The Brazilian government has available a fund of 10 billion reais (6.25 billion dollars) with which to pay individuals who voluntarily turn in their firearms to the authorities, Justice Minister José Cardozo announced on 6 May.
“We have 10 billion reais available to indemnify whomever turns in a gun. I believe that no minister has said this before, but I hope that all that money is used up, so as to be able to look for more,” the official remarked in Rio de Janeiro, where the permanent disarmament plan was relaunched.
The official disarmament campaign was launched seven years ago and was made permanent in September 2010. This new stage of the plan was moved forward a month due to the massacre at a Rio de Janeiro school a month ago, in which twelve children were shot and killed by a former student who entered the center firing two revolvers.
“We urge Brazilians to help to prevent tragedies like the one that took place in Realengo. The objective is to collect as many guns as possible by 31 December,” Cardozo continued.
Dozens of people came to various locations all around the city to turn in their firearms, which were immediately destroyed by the authorities. For each gun collected, the government is paying between 60 and 120 dollars.
Between 1997 and 2008, the Army destroyed more than 1.8 million firearms, according to a study by a private NGO, which revealed that at least 8 million more guns are in the hands of civilians, security forces, and criminals.