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Small Arms El Salvador. El Salvador (The Saviour) Central America Central America 6.9 Million People 6.9 Million People Most densely Populated Nation.

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Presentation on theme: "Small Arms El Salvador. El Salvador (The Saviour) Central America Central America 6.9 Million People 6.9 Million People Most densely Populated Nation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Small Arms El Salvador

2

3 El Salvador (The Saviour) Central America Central America 6.9 Million People 6.9 Million People Most densely Populated Nation Most densely Populated Nation Most industrialized Most industrialized

4 History Coffee Staple Export Coffee Staple Export Oligarchy of several hundred families Oligarchy of several hundred families Revolt in 1932, Military Dictatorship implemented Revolt in 1932, Military Dictatorship implemented In 60s, land reform was encouraged In 60s, land reform was encouraged

5 Build of Civil conflict Reform opposed by military elite Reform opposed by military elite Opposition arose (politically and military) Opposition arose (politically and military) Death squads introduced to quell insurrections Death squads introduced to quell insurrections Demonstrators were fired upon Demonstrators were fired upon

6 Guerrillas Guerrillas gained more power in 70s Guerrillas gained more power in 70s Government controlled elections were biased Government controlled elections were biased United States, fearing Cuba 2, funded El Salvadoran Govt. United States, fearing Cuba 2, funded El Salvadoran Govt. Cuba, Nicaragua and Soviet Union funded Guerrillas Cuba, Nicaragua and Soviet Union funded Guerrillas

7 Civil War Archbishop Romero, rural priest, proponent of social change Archbishop Romero, rural priest, proponent of social change Assassination, sparking civil war Assassination, sparking civil war Guerrillas united, FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) Guerrillas united, FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) FMLN vs. Govt. + Vigilante Death Squads FMLN vs. Govt. + Vigilante Death Squads

8 War’s effects Hundreds of thousands wounded (mentally and physically) Hundreds of thousands wounded (mentally and physically) 70,000 killed 70,000 killed Economy crumbled Economy crumbled

9 Peace Talks 6 Jesuit priests, housekeeper and her daughter murdered- International Attn. 6 Jesuit priests, housekeeper and her daughter murdered- International Attn. US Congress sent in Task Force US Congress sent in Task Force Found that Priests were murdered by Govt., some American Govt. members knew Found that Priests were murdered by Govt., some American Govt. members knew UN brought in and sponsored Peace Accords, signed by both sides UN brought in and sponsored Peace Accords, signed by both sides

10 Peace Accords and after FMLN and Govt. to dissolve several units FMLN and Govt. to dissolve several units The introduction of social reform The introduction of social reform International Supervision International Supervision

11 After the War Bad News Many El Salvadorans are still unemployed Many El Salvadorans are still unemployed High homicide rates High homicide rates Only 2 percent control nations wealth Only 2 percent control nations wealth Good News FMLN won majority seats in 2000 FMLN won majority seats in 2000 US involvement still apparent- built military base US involvement still apparent- built military base

12 President Elias Antonio Saca El Salvador

13 What Happened next? United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL) successful in addressing politically-motivated human rights violations BUT: United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL) successful in addressing politically-motivated human rights violations BUT: New threat post-war - VIOLENCE - fear and insecurity New threat post-war - VIOLENCE - fear and insecurity 95% of violent acts documented committed by military, government security forces and death squads 95% of violent acts documented committed by military, government security forces and death squads Intimidation, death threats, executions and disappearances common tools used against opposition Intimidation, death threats, executions and disappearances common tools used against opposition Judicial system found to be “incapable of fairly assessing and carrying out punishment” Judicial system found to be “incapable of fairly assessing and carrying out punishment” Long history of youth violence – 80% government troops and 20% FMLN recruits under 18 years of age Long history of youth violence – 80% government troops and 20% FMLN recruits under 18 years of age

14 What About Today? Today, crime is the major concern of most Salvadorans. Today, crime is the major concern of most Salvadorans. Fighting between government forces and revolutionary FMLN left 75,000 dead, over a million displaced and, 7,000 "disappeared". Fighting between government forces and revolutionary FMLN left 75,000 dead, over a million displaced and, 7,000 "disappeared". Most of the survivors continue to suffer the psychological effects. Most of the survivors continue to suffer the psychological effects. The root causes and inequalities of the war still exist today

15 El Salvador's pain  Murder Rate Highest in Latin America El Salvador’s murder rate is: 54 murders per 100,000 (the highest in Latin America) El Salvador’s murder rate is: 54 murders per 100,000 (the highest in Latin America) No other country has a rate higher than 40 per 100,000 No other country has a rate higher than 40 per 100,000 The World average for death by murder is 10 per 100,000 The World average for death by murder is 10 per 100,000

16 El Salvador's Murder Rate 5.5 Times World Average, but Falling 2005: 3,812 murders were committed or 10 murders/day 2005: 3,812 murders were committed or 10 murders/day Estimate for 2006: 3,430 or 9.4 murders/day Estimate for 2006: 3,430 or 9.4 murders/day Majority of the killings were of people between the ages of 15 and 49 (46% between 20 and 29 years) Majority of the killings were of people between the ages of 15 and 49 (46% between 20 and 29 years)

17 Guns as a Public Health Issue 78.5 % of murders carried out with firearms, 13.6 % with knives and 3.5 % with blunt instruments % of murders carried out with firearms, 13.6 % with knives and 3.5 % with blunt instruments. An even greater number of people are injured (non-fatal) by firearms every hour An even greater number of people are injured (non-fatal) by firearms every hour Handguns are relatively affordable Handguns are relatively affordable

18 Why? The causes are many but include: Gangs Gangs Poverty Poverty The proliferation of guns The proliferation of guns An ineffective court system An ineffective court system Organized crime Organized crime Family violence Family violence

19 Elusive Solutions? o The only thing which is clear is that this tragic situation requires efforts at all levels of society from the government, to the churches, to the schools, to the media, to business and community leaders

20 Prevention Model Drawing upon the public health field, violence prevention and intervention strategies can be categorized into three levels

21 Primary Prevention: Creating Safe Environments Looks are the root cause, conditions and environment: ways to proactively eliminate the possibility of violence and injury Looks are the root cause, conditions and environment: ways to proactively eliminate the possibility of violence and injury Aim to prevent violence before it occurs Aim to prevent violence before it occurs Examples- youth engagement and activity programs and community help groups on conflict resolution Examples- youth engagement and activity programs and community help groups on conflict resolution

22 Secondary Prevention: Reducing Risk Address attitudes and behaviors, focusing on early identification and intervention to reverse or reduce the impacts of violence Address attitudes and behaviors, focusing on early identification and intervention to reverse or reduce the impacts of violence Focus more on the immediate responses to violence Focus more on the immediate responses to violence Examples- pre-hospital care, emergency services, education Examples- pre-hospital care, emergency services, education

23 Tertiary Prevention: Managing the Crisis Situations Reactive efforts and intervention that correct or treat a problem Reactive efforts and intervention that correct or treat a problem Focus on the long-term care in the wake of violence Focus on the long-term care in the wake of violence Examples- rehabilitation, reintegration, and attempts to lesson trauma or reduce the long term disability associated with violence Examples- rehabilitation, reintegration, and attempts to lesson trauma or reduce the long term disability associated with violence

24 Epidemiological Study Wounds and Firearms El Salvador El Salvador

25 PtH Student Driven Project Maria Emperatriz Crespin Najera* Maria Emperatriz Crespin Najera* Overall objective – actively participate, public health perspective, construction of program to control small arms violence Overall objective – actively participate, public health perspective, construction of program to control small arms violence One specific objective – research on small arms injuries One specific objective – research on small arms injuries Published in Conflict and Survival volume 21(3), 2005 * working with Salvadoran Physicians for Social Responsibility (MESARES) and Salvadoran Medical Students for Social Responsibility (E-MESARES) - affiliated with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) Published in Conflict and Survival volume 21(3), 2005 * working with Salvadoran Physicians for Social Responsibility (MESARES) and Salvadoran Medical Students for Social Responsibility (E-MESARES) - affiliated with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

26 Gun Violence Statistics El Salvador – 150/100,000 70% of homicides El Salvador – 150/100,000 70% of homicides USA – 10.6/100,000* USA – 10.6/100,000* Britain – 0.3/100,000* Britain – 0.3/100,000* Perspective US murder rate with handguns is 15x greater than in Canada* * Ref: Arya, N, British Medical Journal, (Editorial), volume 324, 2002 Perspective US murder rate with handguns is 15x greater than in Canada* * Ref: Arya, N, British Medical Journal, (Editorial), volume 324, 2002

27 Information from UN development program (2003) Three important factors driving violence in culture: 1) youth culture and gangs 2) availability of drugs and alcohol 3) lack of (or ineffective) social controls Three important factors driving violence in culture: 1) youth culture and gangs 2) availability of drugs and alcohol 3) lack of (or ineffective) social controls 12% of GDP spent on violence issues including fall-out in health care spending 12% of GDP spent on violence issues including fall-out in health care spending

28 Study Components Review of governmental statistics on homicide from WFA (wounds from firearms) Review of governmental statistics on homicide from WFA (wounds from firearms) Retrospective study of WFA in children (33 cases/year compared to 3 cases/year in Mexico – 20% permanently disabled) Retrospective study of WFA in children (33 cases/year compared to 3 cases/year in Mexico – 20% permanently disabled) Prospective study on 100 WFA hospital admissions (tertiary care hospital in San Salvador) Prospective study on 100 WFA hospital admissions (tertiary care hospital in San Salvador)

29 Method Six researchers, random selection of participants >13 years based on consent and availability of researchers (June 2003-May 2004) Six researchers, random selection of participants >13 years based on consent and availability of researchers (June 2003-May 2004) Data collected via survey: -socioeconomic status -age, sex -family status -event history -cost of healthcare Data collected via survey: -socioeconomic status -age, sex -family status -event history -cost of healthcare

30 Data collected 789 visits for WFA (623 admitted – 133 deaths) 789 visits for WFA (623 admitted – 133 deaths) 92% male (60% <25 years old) 92% male (60% <25 years old) 62% single, living in San Salvador 62% single, living in San Salvador 50% stable backgrounds 50% stable backgrounds Larger than average family size Larger than average family size 90% in families with minimal income (50% <$100 US/month) 90% in families with minimal income (50% <$100 US/month)

31 Data collected 27% completed high school 27% completed high school >50% involved in sports >50% involved in sports 12% gang members 12% gang members 50% knew offender 50% knew offender 86% attacked on the street 86% attacked on the street 25% hit with >3 bullets 25% hit with >3 bullets Common injury - limbs Common injury - limbs

32 Healthcare costs 1500 patient bed days 1500 patient bed days $300,000 US $300,000 US $1.8M/year (10% of hospital budget) $1.8M/year (10% of hospital budget) Estimated $34M US cost to economy Estimated $34M US cost to economy

33 Victim Profile Young man Young man Urban centre Urban centre Unemployed/underemployed Unemployed/underemployed Contributing to support of large family Contributing to support of large family Some education Some education Drugs, alcohol and firearms part of daily life (increase in WFA on Saturday nights and holidays) Drugs, alcohol and firearms part of daily life (increase in WFA on Saturday nights and holidays)

34 Recommendations Control access to firearms - lobby for arms regulation – met with President - Society without violence planning team Control access to firearms - lobby for arms regulation – met with President - Society without violence planning team Increase public awareness and educational programs - radio, television, public events, conferences, journal articles, involve student medical community, presented research to WHO, local government Paniagua,I., Crespin, E., Guardado, A., Mauricio, A., Medicine Conflict and Survival. Wounds caused by firearms in El Salvador, : Epidemiological Issues, vol 21 (3), Increase public awareness and educational programs - radio, television, public events, conferences, journal articles, involve student medical community, presented research to WHO, local government Paniagua,I., Crespin, E., Guardado, A., Mauricio, A., Medicine Conflict and Survival. Wounds caused by firearms in El Salvador, : Epidemiological Issues, vol 21 (3), 2005.

35 Image from iansa website (downloaded Feb 26, 2005) National Commission for Gun Law Review

36 Goods for Guns: A Case Study

37 Who? Local business leaders alarmed by impact of armed violence Local business leaders alarmed by impact of armed violence In 1995, these business leaders form the Patriotic Movement Against Crime (Movimento Patriotico Contra la Delincuencia-MPCD). In 1995, these business leaders form the Patriotic Movement Against Crime (Movimento Patriotico Contra la Delincuencia-MPCD). In 1996, MPDC decides to conduct weapons collection program In 1996, MPDC decides to conduct weapons collection program

38 Why? Association of Distributors (consumer goods) of El Salvador (ADES) member’s delivery trucks were regularly assaulted by armed men Association of Distributors (consumer goods) of El Salvador (ADES) member’s delivery trucks were regularly assaulted by armed men ADES worried about security of employees ADES worried about security of employees ADES wanted to help address this growing violence in El Salvador ADES wanted to help address this growing violence in El Salvador

39 Goals Stated Goals Stated Goals Raise awareness and encourage citizens to help combat crime Raise awareness and encourage citizens to help combat crime Cut the flow of weapons into the black market Cut the flow of weapons into the black market Publicize it’s goals of providing incentives for civilians to exchange firearms and explosives Publicize it’s goals of providing incentives for civilians to exchange firearms and explosives Hidden Goals Hidden Goals Create a safer climate in which to maximize the private sector economy in El Salvador, or more specifically, San Salvador Create a safer climate in which to maximize the private sector economy in El Salvador, or more specifically, San Salvador

40 How? The MPCD garnered support from the PNC, MoD, Rotary Club, and Catholic Church. They also received funding from various foreign governments, including Canada, although most funding came from national private sector. The MPCD garnered support from the PNC, MoD, Rotary Club, and Catholic Church. They also received funding from various foreign governments, including Canada, although most funding came from national private sector. They designed the program around highly publicized collection weekends They designed the program around highly publicized collection weekends

41 How? Local churches acted as collection sites, staffed by members of the PNC, MoD, and civil society. Local churches acted as collection sites, staffed by members of the PNC, MoD, and civil society. Any citizen could anonymously exchange any weapon for vouchers for supermarkets, drug stores, or clothing stores Any citizen could anonymously exchange any weapon for vouchers for supermarkets, drug stores, or clothing stores

42 How? Weapons were documented individually, with forms signed by the MPCD, PNC, MoD and the Rotary Club; this paper trail ensured the program’s transparency and legitimacy. Weapons were then destroyed by the MoD. Weapons were documented individually, with forms signed by the MPCD, PNC, MoD and the Rotary Club; this paper trail ensured the program’s transparency and legitimacy. Weapons were then destroyed by the MoD.

43 What types of Weapons were Exchanged? Among the citizens exchanging weapons were…. Among the citizens exchanging weapons were…. A middle aged woman with a shoulder bag containing five rocket launchers A middle aged woman with a shoulder bag containing five rocket launchers A young soccer player with mm grenade launcher projectiles in his backpack A young soccer player with mm grenade launcher projectiles in his backpack A peasant man who arrived with wife and children to exchange two.22 caliber rifles for medication for his infant daughter A peasant man who arrived with wife and children to exchange two.22 caliber rifles for medication for his infant daughter

44 Goods for Guns: A Success Story? The program had many positive outcomes The program had many positive outcomes Removal of thousands of weapons and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition from circulation Removal of thousands of weapons and hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition from circulation Fostered relationships between private sector, civil society, media, government, police, etc Fostered relationships between private sector, civil society, media, government, police, etc Provided a model that could be further developed in other countries Provided a model that could be further developed in other countries Demonstrated the high potential for media to contribute to public good Demonstrated the high potential for media to contribute to public good Raised awareness and encouraged new programs Raised awareness and encouraged new programs

45 But also many Shortcomings… The program primarily focused on the impact of small arms on upper and middle class, and therefore neglected many rural areas The program primarily focused on the impact of small arms on upper and middle class, and therefore neglected many rural areas The program was not linked to policies designed to limit supply of new weapons (During the period of the program, almost new firearms were legally imported into El Salvador. This caused many donor states to withdraw support.) The program was not linked to policies designed to limit supply of new weapons (During the period of the program, almost new firearms were legally imported into El Salvador. This caused many donor states to withdraw support.) Program failed to examine many of the reasons behind the gun violence (i.e.. No attempt was made to interview citizens about their experiences, motives, etc…) Program failed to examine many of the reasons behind the gun violence (i.e.. No attempt was made to interview citizens about their experiences, motives, etc…)

46 Evaluation Evaluation is difficult due to lack of reliable statistics on firearm related injury and death BUT Evaluation is difficult due to lack of reliable statistics on firearm related injury and death BUT Over the 3 Year period 9,500 weapons were collected along with over 100,000 rounds of ammunition Over the 3 Year period 9,500 weapons were collected along with over 100,000 rounds of ammunition represents thousands of injuries that did not occur → OUTCOME: healthcare funds available for other health services. represents thousands of injuries that did not occur → OUTCOME: healthcare funds available for other health services.

47 GROUP 6: Our thoughts on possible interventions

48 Sports and Education From the research: educated population (80% literacy rate) educated population (80% literacy rate) common interest in sports Bring interventions to: common interest in sports Bring interventions to: sports clubs – strict rules for association re: drug use, guns (team pledges) sports clubs – strict rules for association re: drug use, guns (team pledges) early school programs aimed a peace initiatives early school programs aimed a peace initiatives

49 Gun Violence and Disability: Wheels of Change Image Downloaded from iansa website ww.iansa.org Feb 26, 2005

50 Government involvement Lobby for sponsorship for school and sport programs Lobby for sponsorship for school and sport programs Small business investment and loan programs Small business investment and loan programs President – former sportscaster (special Presidential program for athletics) President – former sportscaster (special Presidential program for athletics)

51 Community Leaders and International Support Religious leaders Religious leaders Sport Celebrities Sport Celebrities Monetary support for programs from countries involved in export of arms to El Salvador – helped create problem NOW help fix it! Monetary support for programs from countries involved in export of arms to El Salvador – helped create problem NOW help fix it!


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