The results of a program that invites citizens to turn in firearms in Mexico City became concrete and visible on Tuesday when government officials unveiled a new monument: a sculpture made with 4,700 guns voluntarily surrendered by residents.
The guns were turned in as part of a city program called “Yes to Disarmament, Yes to Peace.”
“There can be no act more symbolic that says, ‘We want peace in the city; we want peace in the country,’” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum at the unveiling.
The 3.5-meter-tall monument was created by the artist Miguel Ángel Campos Ortiz, who was selected over 109 other sculptors in a citywide competition. Designed in the shape of a grinding mill, intended to symbolize the disposal and grinding of firearms, is located at the intersection of Manuel González and Reforma avenues in the Cuauhtémoc borough.
Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez said that the program was a model that would be replicated on the national level in states where a large number of homicides have been recorded.
She cited Guanajuato, Jalisco, México state, Michoacán and Zacatecas as states that would be participating and said that other states were also free to join.
“All these actions seek to promote a culture of peace and strengthen the prevention of violence and crime …” she said.
Icela said the program would reduce crime, drug addiction and the recruitment of children and youths into organized crime nationwide.
Sheinbaum said that young people need to be given opportunities for schooling in order to be motivated to forgo violence.
“We can’t obtain peace, we can’t reduce violence if we don’t tend to its causes,” she said.
The Mexico City gun surrender program has been renewed for 2021, she said.
Source: Milenio (sp)