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20 years

Authorities are swimming in confiscated weapons

confiscated weapons

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December 5th, 2012 ( The Ministry of Public Security no longer knows what to do with 36,000 confiscated weapons for which it no longer has storage space.  The weapons were confiscated by the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), and some are part of evidence in court proceedings, though many of the court cases have ended.  Authorities say that no order to destroy the weapons has yet been received.


Celso Gamboa, Vice Minister of Security, stated that since January 2012, the National Arsenal has faced serious challenges in storing the weapons. “Due to a concession that we had provided, in 2001, the weapons were placed in the arsenal, mainly because of security issues, however, this was under the understanding that once the court processes ended, there would be a final destination for the weapons, either destruction or donation,” said Gamboa.


However, that process never occurred, and the arsenal has now reached 36,000 confiscated weapons, whose weight alone is a serious problem.


“(The weight) caused some of the beams in the Arsenal to give way. We carried out a technical study and met last year with Paulino Mora, president of the Judicial Branch and Alfredo Jones, executive director; we took them to the arsenal, they observed it, made a mitigation plan to remove the weapons, and about 2,000 weapons were removed, but those 2,000 were replaced again due to the number of confiscations,” said Gamboa.


According to Gamboa, the situation has now become that the amount of weapons that can be received by the arsenal is only equal to the amounts that are removed, as authorities have completely ran out of room to store the weapons.


The destruction of weapons can only be made with prior authorization from the Judicial Branch.

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