Local July 9, 2015 | 7:43 am

Brazil helps Dominican Republic curb gun deaths

SantoDomingo.- Dominican Republic will work with Brazil to cut the number of gundeaths, after around 500 illegal weapons were seized in the first half of theyear, according to authorities.

Justice ministerFrancisco Dominguez made the announcement in a ceremony in which he thanked theBrazilian Cooperation Agency for its support,represented by Brazil National Security officials Regina Miki and Beatriz CruzDa Silva, who are in the country to discuss issues linked to disarmament.

Miki said awarenessmust be created among the population that the only purpose of guns is toeliminate lives, and which in her view, aren’t instruments of defense but ofattack.

She said thevoluntary program carried out in Brazil has taken 700,000 guns off the streets.

Dominguez saidover 90 percent of the police and military killed violently in DominicanRepublic was mostly to steal their weapons.

"Every timea citizen hands over a weapon to authorities they carry out an act of life. It’sunfortunate that crimes against law enforcement agents and the military it thesedeaths didn’t occur during the performance of their duties patrolling thestreet.”

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