OAS Donates Firearms Marking Machine to St. Lucia

WASHINGTON, DC – The Organization of American States (OAS) today donated a firearms marking machine to the Government of Barbados to be used by its Ministry of National Security with the objective of improving controls against the illicit trafficking in this type of weapon. This initiative, already implemented in various countries of the region, forms part of the efforts outlined by the Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza, and serves to exemplify the Organization as a strategic actor in the fight against crime.

The machine was presented during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Royal Saint Police Force, located in Castries, St. Lucia, and was attended by the Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Senator the Honourable George Guy Mayers and the OAS Representative to St. Lucia, Mrs. Anne Marie Blackman.

The firearms marking machine was donated by the United States Government, as part of their greater contribution to the OAS project “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean”. This project supports the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capabilities in matters of firearms marking.

Together with the marking machine, the Government of St. Lucia also received a computer to facilitate the process of maintaining marked firearms data. In addition, the Public Security Department of the OAS is scheduled to conduct a training workshop with ten police officials, focusing on the use of firearms marking equipment.

As its primary goal, the OAS seeks the strengthening of the national capacities of its Member States to respond, in an effective and efficient manner, to the increasing levels of crime and violence caused by illicit trafficking in firearms. In this regard, the OAS will cooperate with the countries of the region so that all its Member States may as quickly as possible establish policies and legislation to mark firearms at the time of manufacture and/or import.

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