As part of the citizen security measures being undertaken by the Venezuelan government with regard to disarmament and weapons control, the executive has put the Ministry of the Interior and Justice in charge of selling arms and munitions to the different security forces throughout the country and conducting related protocol and monitoring operations.
The Minister of the Interior and Justice Tareck El Aissami explained: “The police corps will no longer buy arms or munitions freely. Now they will need our consent based on protocol, the number of functionaries, the registry of munitions, and whether they are going to be used for training or in an official capacity.”
Regarding the sale of arms and munitions, the minister explained that the security measures developed by the government include the closure of all gun stores within Venezuela, saying that articles used to threaten human lives cannot not be sold freely.
“As of March, every last gun shop remaining in Venezuela – and there are less than 80 – should be closed. That is to say, in Venezuela, the perverse chapter of the commercialization of firearms and munitions is over,” El Aissami said.
At the opening of the International Seminar on Arms and Munitions Control and Disarmament taking place this week at a hotel in the capital city of Caracas, the minister added that among the irregularities observed in the use of arms by the police is the fact that arms are not assigned to each officer, but rather are rotated.
“This evidently does not favor clarity in the matter of how the arms are used, among other issues,” he said.
El Aissami said that for the moment, no drastic measures will be announced regarding weapons possession, however, he indicated that the government’s security policies are ultimately aimed at disarming the civilian population.
“Of course we are not going to dictate drastic measures prohibiting carrying arms because we know that there is a cultural problem that we must tackle first. That is something we must do through campaigns and raising awareness among the population with the support of the media,” El Aissami said.
In this sense, El Aissami said the media is essential in constructing a new culture that favors and promotes peace.
For this, he said the issue of ethics in the media should be broadly debated in order to forge cooperation regarding the promotion of a culture of peace and the eradication of language and content that incites violence.
AVN / Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / January 26, 2012