KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday donated two firearms marking machines to the government of Jamaica to be used by the Ministry of National Security to combat the illicit trafficking of firearms. This initiative, implemented in 23 countries of the region, forms part of the efforts outlined by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, and defines the organization as a strategic actor in the fight against crime.
The machine was presented during a ceremony held at the forensic laboratory of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in Kingston, and was attended by the Chief Technical Director of the Ministry, Vivian Brown and the OAS Representative in Jamaica, Joan Neil.
The donation — funded by the government of the United States — is part of the program “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean,” following the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capabilities on matters of firearms marking.
The OAS submitted to the government of Jamaica two special computers to facilitate the process of record-keeping on marked firearms. Among the organization’s principal goals is the strengthening of national capabilities of the member states to respond, in an effective and efficient way, to the growing levels of crime and violence caused by the illicit trafficking in firearms.
In this sense, the OAS cooperates with the countries of the region with the objective that, in the shortest time possible, all the member states will have established policies, as well as relevant legislation, to mark firearms at the time of manufacturing and/or import.
To date, 23 countries in the region have signed a cooperation agreement with the OAS to participate in the program: Argentina, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.