Jan 3, 2013

In crime-toughened Mexico City, cash-for-weapons exchange extended

Los Angeles Times 

By Daniel Hernandez
January 3, 2013.

MEXICO CITY -- Promised that no questions would be asked, they've brought in handguns, pistols, rifles, grenades, bullets, and dozens of gun replicas that may or may not have been used to spook a robbery victim.

Hundreds of people have turned in nearly a thousand weapons and at least one grenade-launcher in nine days in exchange for gifts and cash -- as well as anonymity -- in a holiday pilot program that has exceeded government expectations in Mexico's populous capital.

The program, "For Your Family, Voluntary Disarming," was launched at the historic Santuario de la Cuevita church in the crime-toughened borough of Iztapalapa on Christmas Eve, with promises of tablet computers and bicycles for handing over any firearms.

By Dec. 31, when the pilot was supposed to end, about 900 weapons had been turned in, said Rodolfo Rivera, the Mexico City police department official in charge of the program. His team restarted the exchange on Wednesday. Read more. 

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