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Government destroys over 700 Guns Print E-mail
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Thursday, 25 October 2012 00:00

Hydraulic Shears Crushing RiflesIn just two days, the Government of Belize destroyed 730 confiscated, surplus or obsolete guns. Such a feat would not have been possible without the use of a hydraulic shear weapons destruction machine donated by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in May of this year.


UNLIREC specializes in disarmament and non-proliferation of firearms in the Latin American and Caribbean region. On Thursday, October 18th, and Friday, October 19th, UNRILEC representatives oversaw a very tedious operation in which 470 guns from the Police Patrol Branch, Armory and Kolbe Foundation and 260 guns from the Belize Defense Force were crushed by the force of hydraulic shears. Julian Bustamante, a UNRILEC Representative said that the exercise was important for the citizen security of Belize. He said, “Just one gun out of circulation can have a huge impact on the citizen security of a country.”When asked if the quantity of guns destroyed was impressive in relation to the size of the country, Bustamante responded, “You know what you can do with just one gun right?” He continued, “The more we destroy is better but even one gun (off the street) has a huge impact.”

The use of  the hydraulic shears made the process much less time consuming. Previously, weapons destruction was done with the use of metal torches used in welding. The only reason the destruction of 730 guns took two days is because UNRILEC requires detailed recording of every weapon destroyed. That recording was conducted by officials of the Ministry of National Security and the Audit Department in the Ministry of Finance.