• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Guatemala Offers Gifts for Arms

July 16, 2004

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) – GuatemalanPresident Oscar Berger this week officiallykicked off a national disarmamentcampaign that aims to collect illegal firearmsin an effort to reduce violent crime, which hasclaimed almost 2,000 lives so far this year.The collection/amnesty program offersincentives for people who turn in multipleillegal weapons, including items such asbicycles, sewing machines, bags of cementand zinc sheeting for construction.“With the launching of this program weare sending a message to the nation thatunited we can all move forward and stopthese high indicators of violence that areaffecting us,” said Berger, who was accompaniedat the event by government leaders,school children and Maya icon RigobertaMenchú, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.THE week before launching “TheNational Disarmament Program,” Bergerlamented in a local press interview that hisgovernment has had a difficult time curbingthe recent wave of violence (TT, July 9).The disarmament program also mayinclude the destruction of the 28,000decommissioned guns already in the government’spossession, and could contemplatea bill to stiffen sanctions against thosewho carry un-licensed arms, according togovernment sources.In Guatemala, 250,000 guns of variouscalibers registered with the government arein citizens’ hands, along with an estimated1.8 million unregistered weapons, accordingto Minister of the Interior Arturo Soto.Soto said at least 1,950 have died inGuatemala this year because of violentcrimes, including 779 in the capital city.Concluding the ceremony, dozens ofGuatemalan children turned in toy guns inexchange for roses in a symbolic act callingfor a new culture of peace.

You may be interested

Photos: Flooding in Turrialba, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
259 views
Costa Rica
259 views

Photos: Flooding in Turrialba, Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 23, 2021

The consequences of heavy and persistent rainfall continue to impact Costa Rica on Friday, particularly in the canton of Turrialba…

Red alerts issued due to flooding, landslides in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
240 views
Costa Rica
240 views

Red alerts issued due to flooding, landslides in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 23, 2021

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Friday placed five Costa Rica cantons under a Red Alert due to dangerous weather…

Floods, landslides impacting Costa Rica on Friday
Costa Rica
259 views
Costa Rica
259 views

Floods, landslides impacting Costa Rica on Friday

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 23, 2021

The consequences of heavy and persistent rainfall continue to impact Costa Rica on Friday, particularly in the canton of Turrialba…

The Tico Times | Top Costa Rica News, Travel, Culture and Sports