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Abstract: The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: La prévalence du VIH atteint voire dépasse 1% aux Bahamas, à la Barbade, au Belize, au Guyana, en Haïti, en Jamaïque, au Suriname et à la Trinité-et-
Tobago (ONUSIDA, 2006). La plupart des pays de la région montrent une baisse ou une stabilisation de la prévalence du VIH, particulièrement dans les zones
urbaines, tandis que les changements intervenus dans les zones semi-urbaines et rurales ont été modérés.
L’inadéquation des systèmes de surveillance du VIH
dans plusieurs pays rend néanmoins difficile l’analyse
des tendances récentes de ces épidémies.
Abstract: Some 160 km off of the muddy Atlantic shores of Guyana and its neighbour, Suriname, lies what geologists suspect is the world's second-largest untapped oil resource, scattered in more than 100 pools. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there could potentially be some 15.3 billion barrels, buried deep in the same rock formations that have been a source of petrodollars for neighbouring Venezuela and Brazil. If put into production, Guyana's theoretical reserves could eventually yield a daily output on par with Kuwait's. And a small Toronto-based oil company called CGX Energy Inc. is one of a few companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Spain's Repsol YPF SA, that are licensed by Guyana to drill there. A bitter boundary dispute, though, has thwarted attempts to explore the most promising sites and keeps the oil dream on hold. The drama started in June 2000, when CGX first set off to drill one of two large targets it had identified as potentially holding half a billion barrels of oil each, some 13,000 feet below sea level. The company named the target Eagle, after the national bird of Guyana. (The other one was named Wishbone, "indicative of the fact that we had our fingers crossed," recalls CGX president Kerry Sully, a long-time oil executive.) As they waited for their rig to cross the ocean from Italy, Sully and his partners plotted its daily progress on the Internet. A mistake, it turned out -- Sully says the company was later told that "people from Suriname looked at it daily."
Abstract: Alien-smuggling organizations use Suriname as a transit country for the trafficking of Chinese nationals, including women and girls. The final destination in these cases is reportedly the United States.