Faced with the challenges posed by armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean and as part of the assistance provided by UNLIREC to the States in the region, the Firearms and Ammunition Evidence Management Course (EMC) was carried out in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 5 to 7 March 2019. The objective of the course is to build the capacities of first responders, personnel from specialized areas, experts, justice operators, among others to adequately process crime scenes and evidence in cases involving firearms and ammunition.

During the three days of EMC, the 30 participants received theoretical and practical training in firearm and ammunition identification and guidelines. The course also included good practices for ensuring the competent management of crime scenes, evidence processing and analysis, as well as the correct utilization of the chain-of-custody system, among other useful tools to strengthen the investigation process and intelligence related to cases involving firearms and ammunition.

As a cross-cutting theme of the course, the gender perspective was incorporated as an additional tool to strengthen the criminal investigation process, and urge the participants to increase communication and cooperation among all the actors involved in the different stages addressed in the course, in order to optimize individual and collective efforts to take a stand against firearm related crimes. In this way, the participants contribute to reducing the levels of impunity and improving citizen confidence towards justice and security institutions.

This specialized course was developed within the framework of the “Building Momentum for the Regional Implementation of A/RES/65/69 on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control” project, which is implemented thanks to the financial assistance of the Canadian Government.