Mexico’s army destroyed 7,000 firearms that were handed in voluntarily by residents of Mexico City, the local government said in a statement.
The weapons were destroyed as part of the Mexico City government’s “For Your Family. Volunteer Disarmament” program, whose first phase was carried out from Dec. 24, 2012, to June 14 of this year, it added.
In a public event held Friday in the Venustiano Carranza borough and attended by Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos, a group of soldiers destroyed the thousands of rifles and handguns that were traded in for money, bicycles, groceries and computers, the statement said.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said 2,000 of the weapons were handed over in the Gustavo A. Madero and Iztapalapa boroughs, two areas of the capital hardest hit by violent crime.
He said the program has been well received by capital residents and has been copied in cities such as Johannesburg.
Authorities have set a goal of collecting 10,000 weapons during the program’s second phase, which began in July.
The campaign has been promoted by Mexico City authorities, the Catholic Church and the Mexican army as a way of getting guns out of the hands of civilians.