Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2012 ‘Country Analyses: El Salvador.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America; Section IV, p. 22. Mexico City: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 28 April

Relevant contents

El Salvador

The civilian firearms registration data of El Salvador is meticulously recorded and readily shared, but not as easily understood. In all, the country registered 220,493 firearms during the years 1994-2011, but 128,000 of these were not re-registered, leaving a deficit in the system.(54) Unregistered weapons include weapons acquired before 1994 and never registered, over 128,000 lost from the system when their owners failed to re-register them, and additional weapons acquired illicitly. If all categories of unregistered weapons are roughly three times as numerous as those formally registered before, the country would have over 600,000 civilian firearms.

The end of the Central American wars in the early 1990s and the subsequent shrinking of El Salvadorian armed forces, from 44,600 in 1996 to 25,000 today, left substantial amounts of equipment surplus in long-term storage. Among that equipment are more than 300,000 hand grenades sent by the United States to El Salvador and other friendly Central American countries in the 1980s. Some of those have since passed into the hands of Mexican organized crime.(55)


54) Jessica Guzmán, "Más de 128 mil armas circulan de forma ilegal en El Salvador", Diario La Página (El Salvador) 24 November 2011.

55) Patrick Corcoran, "El Salvador military weapons: more trafficked than stolen", InSight, 2 June 2011.

ID: Q9726

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