Argentina destroys 11,000 firearms
Buenos Aires, May 7 (IANS/EFE) Nearly 11,000 firearms surrendered by their owners were destroyed by the government as part of a programme to reduce the number of weapons in Argentina, officials said.
"We have now reached the figure of 160,531 firearms taken out of circulation," said Justice Minister Julio Alak, who supervised the destruction of the weapons Saturday at a steel mill in Campana.
The firearms destroyed were the latest lot gathered under the National Voluntary Surrender Program, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.
The disarmament of civilians "is a priority goal for the national state because it is a tool for reducing the level of violence in society", Alak said.
"The absence of firearms from households prevents interpersonal conflicts, which are the source of 65 percent of the homicides in Argentina, from ending in absurd deaths," the justice minister said.
"Some 90 percent of the time, when a citizen tries to defend himself with a weapon, the one who ends up hurt is the victim and not the assailant, who is always more willing to fire and has greater skill in doing so," Alak said.
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