Skip to main content

Uruguay an Important Weapons Source for LatAm Criminals?

The Santa Bernardina Air Base
The Santa Bernardina Air Base
An ammunition heist from an Air Force base in Uruguay points to corruption in the country’s security forces, and further indicates that the generally peaceful country serves as a prominent source of weapons for South America criminal groups.
Investigations by Uruguayan authorities found that roughly 18,000 pieces of ammunition stolen from the Santa Bernardina Air Base ended up in the hands of criminal groups in Brazil; including Rio de Janeiro’s notorious Red Command (Comando Vermelho), reported El Pais.
The munitions theft -- believed to have occurred sometime between November 2014 and February 2015 -- was made public on June 21 by Congressional delegate Jaime Trobo.
According to investigations, the stolen ammunition weighed between 650 and 750 kilograms, and was removed from the base through its main gate using a truck. During the months the robbery is believed to have taken place, security cameras, motion sensors, and electric fences guarding the base’s weapons depot were not functioning.  
Around 20 soldiers are under investigation. Mid-ranking soldiers and officers are also expected be implicated as investigations progress, reported El Pais. It is also possiblemore ammo was stolen than initially believed.
In 2007, the Uruguayan Air Force experienced a similar weapons theft, which resulted in four soldiers, three civilians, and one prison inmate being charged for stealing and organizing the weapons’ sales to Brazilian criminal groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

The theft of such a large amount of ammunition from an active Air Force base could not have occurred without complicity on the part of corrupt soldiers and officers.
While such instances of corruption are less common among Uruguay’s security forces, they are not without precedent. In 2012, around 20 police officers came under investigation for removing over 200 firearms from police stockpiles and selling them to Brazilian criminal groups. More recently, in April, three policemen and a businessman were arrested on suspicions they were trafficking guns to Brazil’s Red Command.
According to a 2009 report by the Small Arms Survey, while having the highest per capita civilian gun ownership in South America (one firearm for every three people), Uruguay has a relatively small collection of modern small arms (61,000). However, much of this inventory was found to be useless, owing to reductions in military personnel. The report also documented a surplus of around 80,000 outdated rifles, sub-machine guns, and light machine guns, which serve no function in Uruguay’s national strategy and whose status was unknown.
The existence of such surplus weapons stocks may prove too tempting an opportunity for some corrupt military officials. Neighboring Brazil offers a prime market, where evidence suggests groups like the Red Command have been seeking to obtain ever more powerful weapons. In 2013, 40 percent of weapons seized in Rio de Janeiro were listed as “category A” -- including rifles, machine guns, and submachine guns -- representing a 33 percent increase since 2009.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CONCERNED CITIZENS OF SOUTH-CENTRAL LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES SECOND CHANCE JOBS PROGRAMS FOR JUSTICE INVOLVED CALIFORNIA'S

CONCERNED CITIZENS OF SOUTH-CENTRAL LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES SECOND CHANCE JOBS PROGRAMS TO GIVE FORMERLY INCARCERATED CALIFORNIANS FREE EMPLOYMENT TRAINING TIED TO GUARANTEED JOB OPPORTUNITIES May 15, 2020                                                                              For Immediate Release LOS ANGELES - Noreen McClendon the Executive Director of Concerned Citizens of South  Central Los Angeles (CCSCLA), announced today that in partnership with RyPul Threat  Assessments, BlacTree Inc, White Rhino Group Inc., Paxton Co., and other entities within the State of California, CCSCLA will provide a cost-free jobs training program connected to guaranteed sponsored employment through her nonprofit organization Concerned Citizens of South-Central Los Angeles. This partnership according to McClendon looks to provide stable employment for justice-involved men and women who have turned their lives around and who are seeking a life of freedom through hope, education, and

Urban Sniper Skills

Photos by Jake Swanson A Former SEAL Schools Us On the Finer Points of Fieldcraft and Marksmanship in the Concrete Jungle According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80 percent of the American population lives in urban areas. Yet, whenever we see classes or articles about precision marksmanship, they’re usually set against a backdrop of wide-open spaces, with emphasis on the mythical “1,000-yard shot.” Charles Mosier, lead sniper with Las Vegas SWAT and a former Navy SEAL, aims to change that with his urban sniper course. Basic skills of fieldcraft, navigation, stalking, and trigger pulling don’t change, whether the environment is the tundra of northern Norway or the mountains of Afghanistan. But the methods used to ensure a successful shot and the survival of the shooter must be adapted to circumstance. This is why Mosier teaches through doing. Each student gets the chance to practice with his or her equipment in a hands-on setting to see what works, and if it doesn’t, to come up with

Navistar has developed the SOTV-B, a purpose-built tactical vehicle

 (Navistar) If you’ve ever seen videos from an African or Asian warzone, you’ve probably noticed most of them have something in common: midsize pickups. Lots of them. Usually Toyotas, but increasingly Chinese, the typically white, crew cab trucks are a favorite mode of transportation for both combatants and folks just going about their business in developing nations. So, if you’re from out of town and looking to fit in, say on a secret recon mission with your special ops team, they’re a good way to go, but not exactly military spec. That’s why Navistar has developed the SOTV-B, a purpose-built tactical vehicle that was designed to look like your average pickup, but isn’t. Related Image Expand / Contract  (Navistar) Based on the SOTV-A, which wears a more official uniform, the SOTV-B is fitted with the most generic bodywork imaginable. There’s nothing distinguishing about it at all, but if you’re still concerned the locals have gotten wise to your presence, th