OAS Against Arms Trafficking

By Dialogo
August 24, 2011

The Organization of American States (OAS) is promoting an initiative to combat illicit firearms trafficking through a program implemented in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The program consists in adding to the manufacturers’ marks the weapons normally carry, such as serial number, model, and caliber, others such as the importing country, where the weapon was seized, and others that can enable identification of the weapon’s trajectory from its point of origin to its destination.

This can help “to identify at what point a weapon entered the illicit arms market and/or help to identify the perpetrator of a crime,” something that is “a very effective tool for combating the trafficking of firearms in the hemisphere,” according to the statement.

The OAS indicated that 25 member states have expressed interest in participating in the program, and 13 of them have so far signed a cooperation agreement.

These countries are Barbados, the Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Uruguay, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

It is expected that as a result of this program, it will be possible to mark at least 25,000 firearms throughout the hemisphere in 2012.