Between 31 May to 3 June 2021, UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) organised an online workshop to strengthen national capacities in Bolivia to investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related criminal offences. The activity was part of the National Roadmap jointly developed by Bolivia and the Global Firearms Programme to prevent and combat firearms trafficking and related crimes in the country.The objective of the training was to strengthen the technical and operational capacities to carry out more effective investigations on illicit firearms trafficking and related cases, leading to prosecution and adjudication. To that end, it gathered 55 national agents in charge of law enforcement, criminal justice and investigation, and representatives from the competent agencies, including 21 participants from the Prosecutor’s Office, 2 participants from the Judiciary, 14 participants from the Bolivian Police (REAFUC, Technical-Scientific Research Institute (IITCUP) and other agencies), 1 representative from INTERPOL, 7 participants from the Ministry of Interior and Bolivian Observatory for Citizen Security and the Fight against Drugs (OBSCD), 5 participants from the Logistics Unit of the Ministry of Defence, and 4 representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The training was facilitated by GFP and national experts, and focused on providing participants with a better understanding of topics such as the international, regional and national legal framework on firearms; firearms identification and tracing; international judicial and law enforcement cooperation, as well as inter-institutional cooperation at national level, and investigation techniques. The last day, participants also worked together to conduct a practical exercise involving a simulated real case of firearms trafficking, in order to put into practice what they had learned in the course.
Participants particularly appreciated the opportunity to increase communication and cooperation between relevant agencies at national level, which would improve coordination to conduct effective investigation and prosecution of firearms related criminality, as well as the deepened understanding of national legislation related to firearms.
The activity was possible thanks to the contribution of the European Union, in the framework of the trans-regional technical cooperation project for Africa and Latin America financed through EU-DEVCO.