The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) continues advancing with the implementation of its “Strengthening Oversight and Building Capacities for Small Arms Control and Nonproliferation in the Private Security Sector” project in El Salvador.

In March 2016, UNLIREC supported the government of El Salvador in the secondary marking of small arms belonging to the private security companies participating in this project. This type of marking, conducted with laser technology, contributes to improvements in the private security companies` stockpile management systems. Likewise, secondary marking – taking place after the initial marking phase, which occurs at the time of manufacture– allows for the identification and tracing of weapons, in a timely and reliable manner from the point of manufacture to importation to transit to the ultimate end user, supporting administrative and criminal investigations.

The marking process consists of placing unique markings on firearms, including the importing country code, a three-letter code – assigned by national authorities – which identifies the company that is purchasing the weapons, and the year of marking. This marking process is in line with El Salvador`s legislation that requires that weapons marked upon import since 2013. Accordingly, El Salvador is making important progress in meeting its international obligations to tackle the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. To date, within the framework of this project, more than 200 private security weapons have been marked in El Salvador.

Since July 2015, UNLIREC has been implementing this project, which provides technical assistance to both the Salvadoran national responsible for regulating the private security sector, as well as to the private security companies that provided armed security services. This project is made possible with the financial support from the Federal Government of Germany.

UNLIREC conducts these project activities in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). The project`s main goal is to promote internationally accepted standards, good practices and initiatives in the private security sector, in line with the United Nations International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATGs).

Through this assistance package, UNLIREC supports Latin American and Caribbean States strengthen public security and the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN 2001 PoA).

For more information about UNLIREC, visit ( or contact Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, (