With the assistance of the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), Peruvian authorities destroyed over 2,000 small arms in the northern city of Trujillo, capital of La Libertad Region in Peru, on 1 September 2015. This event forms part of the UN Joint Programme aimed at strengthening human security and community resilience by fostering peaceful co-existence in Peru, as well as part of the National Superintendence for the Control of Security Services, Arms, Ammunition and Explosives for Civilian Use (SUCAMEC)’s awareness campaign on the risks of the indiscriminate use of small arms.

The 2,000 small arms destroyed originated in large part from weapons confiscated by the Peruvian National Police (PNP). The official destruction ceremony started with the ‘cutting’ of the weapons to render them inoperable, while they await final destruction via ‘smelting’ at an iron and steel factory.

According to the Director of UNLIREC, Ms. Mélanie Régimbal, “if each weapon has the potential to kill, injure or threaten someone, then this process of destruction has a clear impact on public security because it prevents dozens of small arms-related crimes from being committed”. Ms Régimbal went on to affirm that “the destruction of small arms is one more step in preventing and reducing armed violence in La Libertad.”

The UN Joint Programme supports the authorities of La Libertad and Trujillo, as well as the local authorities of El Porvenir, La Esperanza and Florencia de Mora, communities highly affected by violence and crime, in improving human security throughout the northern region. The Inter-agency programme’s activities include comprehensive initiatives in the areas of health, recreation, public security, justice services, and community strengthening.

For more information about UNLIREC, visit (www.unlirec.org) or contact Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at (cowl@unlirec.org).