A pilot plan encouraging inhabitants of the populous sectors of La Pastora, La Vega and Sucre in western Caracas to voluntarily hand over illegal firearms will begin in the coming weeks.
Officials from the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) will guarantee safety during the process.
The plan will involve community participation so that citizens can express their own vision of the issue and create, according to the results, a voluntary disarmament model, explained Pablo Fernandez of the Presidential Commission for Weapons Control and Disarmament.
“These are processes with high community participation which seek to create mechanisms for the voluntarily surrender of firearms that are in the hands of the civilian population,” Fernandez said during the presentation of the commission’s work plan to officials from the country’s 147 police units.
A first phase has already begun, Fernandez explained, and includes an analysis of demographic, territorial and social issues related to the problem. This diagnosis phase was developed with the use of a survey measuring perceptions of violent weapons.
“This methodology, which has high community participation, is being systematized, and additionally – in the case of Sucre Parish – it has already produced a diagnosis which is being processed by the National University of Security (UNES),” Fernandez said.
He noted that the problem of weapons is everybody’s concern, and thus it is important the population “tell us how they see this problem, since the disarmament plan will not be a closed technical plan developed by the commission, but rather, alongside and together with members of the organized communities”.
Recently, the coordinator of the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, William Godnik, praised initiatives by the Venezuelan government to guarantee citizen security and peace through disarmament.
“There are several disarmament commissions in different countries in the region, but none of them have the human and economic investment of Venezuela’s,” Godnik said during a televised interview.
Last week marked the beginning of a campaign to raise awareness about firearms safety, which will be broadcast in the media to promote peaceful coexistence without violence and guns.
The initiative will be launched through state media as well as private media outlets and digital media such as social networks, according to Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami.
Edited by Venezuelanalysis.com