• 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

Costa Rica issues Yellow Alerts due to heavy rainfall
Costa Rica
2480 views
Costa Rica
2480 views

Costa Rica issues Yellow Alerts due to heavy rainfall

The Tico Times - April 15, 2021

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Thursday established Yellow Alerts due to weather that is impacting much of Costa Rica.…

How to track vaccine updates in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
4 views
Costa Rica
4 views

How to track vaccine updates in Costa Rica

The Tico Times - April 15, 2021

Here at The Tico Times, we provide the latest updates on everything related to the coronavirus pandemic in Costa Rica.…

Latin America pandemic recovery lagging, IMF says
Latin America
4 views
Latin America
4 views

Latin America pandemic recovery lagging, IMF says

AFP - April 15, 2021

Latin America's recovery from the pandemic crisis is lagging the rest of the world and the economy will not return…