Electronics for Guns in Mexico

By Rafael Romo (CNN)-Mexico City is trying to get a handle on guns.

It has a new program that allows people to exchange weapons for electronic devices and toys.  

The guns were collected by the dozen. Most were handguns, but there were also high-caliber weapons and even one hand-grenade.

The collection took place in Iztapalapa, a Mexico city neighborhood known for crime.

Days
before the collection authorities asked people to bring in their
weapons to exchange them for bicycles, electronic devices and toys.

No questions asked.

TRANSLATION:  This program was made possible by the
contribution of the Department of Public Safety which gave us almost
12-thousand dollars.  The Mexico City government also gave this
neighborhood an additional 12-thousand dollars.

The program is called “for your family, give up your weapons voluntarily.”

the possession of most weapons in mexico is illegal.

That's why the anonymous nature of the program was so important.

TRANSLATION:  So
far we have collected 864 weapons including rifles (and)
handguns.  There was a grenade launcher and some grenades.  The program
is very successful.

The gun collection started during the holiday
season, but it was so successful that authorities now plan to eventually
implement it throughout the Mexican capital of some 20 million people.

TRANSLATION:  We're going
to keep the program in the same neighborhood, but our crews are also
going to work in neighboring communities.  We already have some
neighborhood asking for the

“Children
played an important role in the exchange program.  authorities asked
kids to exchange toy guns for educational toys of all kinds.  mexico
city officials say they were taking the opportunity to send the right
message to the next generation.”

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