From 22 to 26 May 2023, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with El Salvador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conducted the Interdicting Small Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components Course (ISAAPC). Thirty X-ray operators, of which 11 were women, participated in the course.

The course, conducted virtually, was the second edition of the ISAAPC in El Salvador bringing together officials from the General Directorate of Customs, the National Civil Police, the General Directorate of Penal Centres, the Autonomous Executive Port Commission, and the Salvadoran Postal Service.

Confronted with the challenges posed by arms and ammunition trafficking in the region and its constant changes, UNLIREC seeks to assist El Salvador and States in the region in their efforts to combat and prevent the illicit trafficking of firearms, ammunition, parts, components and explosives that occurs through postal consignments, parcels, packages and luggage. The ISAAPC was developed specifically as a training for X-ray operators who carry out controls and inspections at strategic points.

Over the course of five days participants learned in theory and praxis about weapons, their parts and components, ammunition and explosives. The course included hands-on training on a dedicated online platform, which allows participants to practice their skills in identifying threats such as weapons, their parts and components, ammunition, as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Participants from different national organizations also shared their own experiences in detecting firearms and ammunition, thus further enriching the training.

The Course on Interdicting Small Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components Course (ISAAPC) is part of the technical assistance provided by UNLIREC in support of the implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, funded by the European Union.