Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2023. 9:39 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: A declaration of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of the Regional Symposium to address Crime and Violence as a public health issue has called on the United States of America to “urgently adopt and take action to stop the illegal exportation of firearms and ammunition into the Caribbean.”
The Heads’ declaration registered “our grave concern at the increase in the illegal exportation of guns from the United States of America which is a direct threat to our democracy,” and promised to work together to combat the illegal trade responsible for high rates of crime and violence and lack of safety for citizens.
“We underscore our commitment to utilize all human, financial, and other resources to rid our Region of the scourge of illicit weapons. We reiterate that the Caribbean must be a Zone of Peace, which will allow us to achieve our goal of a secure, stable, and prosperous Community for all our citizens,” said the statement, which went on to lament the “disproportionate” share of national budgets dedicated to national security and mental and other health issues stemming from gun violence.
In its related declaration issued at the conclusion of the summit, the CARICOM Heads said they would agree to ban the possession and use of assault weapons except in sporting competitions and for the security forces.
Several of CARICOM’s members including Belize routinely place among the most violent places on Earth due to gun violence.
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