Training continues in the fight against illicit firearms trade

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Updated: August 18, 2015

A specialized course was held for Judicial Officers in Belize by the Central American program on Small arms and Light weapons control (CASAC). Its aim is to dismantle illicit trade of firearms. Director of CASAC, Hefer Morataya, told us what the workshop is about.

Hefer Morataya – Director, CASAC

“We are conducting the first course in Belize which is actually the 8th course we are conducting in the entire region in Central American including the Dominican Republic and in this case this course is addressed to judges, magistrates, prosecutors and forensic specialists. This course will take place for four days and within the four days the participants are engaged in theory and practical work.”

Morataya told us what the CASAC program aims to fulfill.

Hefer Morataya – Director, CASAC

“This program is a part of the CICA general secretariat that is seeking to equip the magistrates, the judges, the prosecutors the investigators, the forensic experts with the necessary skills so that they may be able to dismantle the illicit trade of fire arms.”

Love News asked the director how they plan to address the issue of Belize lacking certain equipment and technological devices when it comes to pursuing an investigation.

Hefer Morataya – Director, CASAC

“Belize is a member of the 8th Central American countries including the Dominican Republic that is benefiting from sponsorship via CASAC funded by the European Union. We will be donating equipment to Belize and other member countries depending on their needs, what they have informed us that we need. We will be providing them with technological equipment and also with other specialized equipment that we might need. In the same way that we trained the participants for last week’s course. In this course we are seeking to train the public servants all those that we have named to the extent that they can utilize whatever resources they have and the tools that we are imparting to them via these courses.”

While this week’s workshop is focused on Judicial Officers, last week training was also held for Police officers on techniques and knowledge that the officers can use in order to identify firearms and firearm parts that are brought in into the country illegally in containers and luggage. This regional effort is carried out within the framework of the project “Support to the fight against illegal possession and trafficking of firearms in Central America and neighboring countries” funded by the European Union.

CASAC  says that they are in the process of taking notes of what is need in the different countries in the Region and once that process is over, they will begin to donate the needed equipment.

Hefer Morataya – Director, CASAC

“We have been visiting in the last few months all these countries including Belize and we have been taking note of all the information they have been providing for us in terms of their needs and so in due course we will be making the donations of the technological devices, equipment and other specialized equipment so that they may then maximize their resources and so that they may then perform their duties much better.”