From 3 to 5 of May, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Government of Belize carried out a series of activities on standard operating procedures (SOP) adaptation and harmonization in Belize city. These exercises represent the second round of assistance held under the framework of UNLIREC’s Caribbean Operational Forensic Ballistics Assistance Package, which is made possible thanks to the support of the US Department of State and the Government of Canada.
The training exercises enabled four firearms examiners from the National Forensic Sciences Services (NFSS) to gain in-depth knowledge on how to develop and improve their Standard Operating Procedures, how to present expert testimonies in a court setting and, finally, how to double-cast bullets and cartridges for use in training and information sharing with neighbouring countries. The exercises provided participants with the opportunity to exchange best practices, discuss challenges faced in the field as well as practice new methods and technology in order to build more substantial cases and solid evidence.
Parallel to training activities, a workshop on coordination between justice system operators related to forensic ballistics evidence management and information sharing allowed the stakeholder to address gaps in existing communication and cooperation frameworks.
For the third round of project assistance to the Government of Belize, UNLIREC will be promoting the implementation of a series of collaborative exercises derived from forensic ballistic SOPs as a tool for determining staff competencies in key functional areas of: firearms examination and identification, ammunition examination and identification and trigger pull.
UNLIREC, as the regional organ of the UN Office for Disarmament, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.
For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org). Please direct all questions or inquiries to Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).