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Dominican Republic; Organization of American States: Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Firearms

(May 3, 2012) On April 20, 2012, the Organization of American States (OAS) and the government of the Dominican Republic announced that they had reached an agreement whereby the OAS will deliver to the Dominican Republic equipment donated by the United States government to mark firearms. (Press Release, OAS, OEA y República Dominicana firman acuerdo para luchar contra el tráficoilícito de armas de fuego (Apr. 20, 2012).)

A press release issued on the occasion indicated that this agreement was reached within the framework of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, which provides that to facilitate the identification and tracking of firearms, the signatory parties must require that these weapons be adequately marked with certain information, such as the name of the manufacturer, place of manufacture, serial number, and name and address of the importer. (Press Release, supra; Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials [in Spanish; toggle available for English text] (Nov. 13, 1997), art. VI, OAS website.)

The press release stated that the Deputy Director of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State has indicated that having the capacity to mark firearms is one of the most effective ways to combat trafficking in them, not just in the western hemisphere, but globally. (Press Release, supra.)