Regional Police Chiefs Plan Operation to Curtail Weapons Trafficking

By Dialogo
April 22, 2013

On April 18, Central American, Mexican, Caribbean, and Colombian police chiefs met for a two-day meeting in El Salvador, to coordinate a regional operation against weapons trafficking, with the goal of reducing violence, the Central American Integration System (SICA) reported.

The meeting, held in a hotel near the Pacific coast of Sonsonate, 115 km southwest of San Salvador, aimed to “organize” the second “Regional Operation for Weapon Seizure” or “ORCA II”, using the experiences gathered from the first operation in 2011.

The SICA initiative intended to “contribute to strengthening citizen security in Central America, to reduce the impact and potential harm of armed violence from a human development perspective,” the organization stated.

“Although there are no Central American countries that manufacture firearms, about 2,826,000 weapons are circulating in the region, and two out of three are illegal, which is a risk factor for crime and insecurity throughout the region,” it added.

The operation will be coordinated and promoted by SICA Secretary General Juan Daniel Alemán, and by the Commission of Central American, Mexican, Caribbean and Colombian Chiefs of Police (CJPCAMCC) as part of the support for the fight against illegal firearms carrying and trafficking in Central America and neighboring countries, funded by the European Union.

Sixty-three members of the CJPCAMCC, personnel of the Central American Program for Small Arms and Light Weapons Control, and representatives of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), attended the meeting, during which Interpol and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials also shared their experiences on disarmament.