Between 26 to 29 July 2021, UNODC Global Firearms Programme organised an online workshop to strengthen national capacities in El Salvador to investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related criminal offences.
This online course is one of the activities in the areas of cooperation jointly identified between national counterparts from El Salvador and UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme, whose main objective is to provide assistance and support to prevent and combat illicit firearms trafficking and its links with transnational organised crime.
It was addressed to 25 criminal justice officials including representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, Judiciary, the National Civil Police (Arms and Weapons Division, Special Crimes Unit and its Firearms Investigation Team, and other police agencies), the Ministry of Defence’s Logistics Directorate and its Arms Registry and Control Centre, and the General Customs Directorate, among others.
The course focused on enhancing national capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking. It provided participants with in-depth knowledge about the legal framework on firearms at international, regional and national level; it shared investigation techniques, as well as new trafficking trends and moda operandi; and it enhanced capacities to identify and trace firearms, to facilitate international judicial and law enforcement cooperation. To that end, the virtual training was facilitated jointly by staff from the Global Firearms Programme and national experts.
The training also included a practical exercise, where participants had the chance to apply what they had learned in a fictional case of firearms trafficking, and to identify challenges and how to overcome them. The interactive character of the training also allowed criminal justice practitioners from different national institutions to know each other, exchange contacts, interact and better understand the work of each other. This contributed to promote and enhance inter-institutional cooperation at national level, which is crucial for an effective prevention and combat firearms trafficking.
After the activity, participants have demonstrated their appreciation for the training and provided positive feedback about what they had learned. They also expressed the interest in continuing strengthening their knowledge and capacities through further cooperation with UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme in future activities.
The activity was organised thanks to the financial support of the European Union, in the framework of the trans-regional technical cooperation project for Africa and Latin America financed through EU-DEVCO.