Illicit arms trafficking is one of the main threats to security worldwide. In this context and as part of the technical assistance that UNLIREC provides to Latin American and Caribbean States to help strengthen their capacities to combat and prevent this scourge, from November 16 to 20, 2020, the Interdicting Small Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components Course (ISAAPCC) was held virtually, directed at El Salvador’s X-ray operators who perform control and inspection functions at entry, exit and transit points in the country.

In recent decades, criminal networks have been identified as using different modalities to illegally traffic small arms, parts, components and ammunition across country borders, using postal mail systems, parcels, household goods, baggage, air cargo, among others.

This specialized course trained 30 X-ray operators from the Borders Division of the National Civilian Police (PNC), Executive Autonomous Port Commission (CEPA) and Customs General Directorate of El Salvador.

Based on a theoretical-practical methodology, this group of operators received training on the fundamental aspects of X-ray technology, technical specifications on small arms, their parts and components, ammunition, as well as on explosives and concealment methods. Participants also received practical training via an online platform developed by the Centre for Adaptive Security Research and Applications, whereby they developed their skills to effectively recognize these types of threats.

It should be noted that this specialized course has been designed considering international standards and good practices on the importance of continuous training for X-ray scanner operators, to achieve optimal levels of security at strategic points, thus helping to reduce the levels of criminality and violence associated with firearms.

This new virtual edition of the ISAAPCC was made possible thanks to the financial support from the German Government.