Mexico City residents have swapped personal firearms for consumer products in a program political and social leaders have termed a success, according to Mexican news reports.
In a wire dispatch from El Universal that appeared on the website of El Diario de Coahuila, the program called depistolizacion or depistolization has received almost 6,000 firearms and munitions including grenades.
According to data supplied by Secretaria de Seguridad Publica (SSP) Jesus Rodriguez Almeida, 5,641 firearms were turned in of which 3,987 were pistols, 356 were grenades, a bomb, one weapons magazine and 44,495 rounds of ammunition.
The program begun five months ago is set to end this summer.
According to the report, cash and prizes totalling MX $8,030,500 (USD $624,202.73) were passed out. Non cash rewards given out included 16 laptop computers, 1,900 tablets, 251 bicycles and 183 appliances of undisclosed types.
The report quoted Rodriguez Almeida as saying the program was intended to disarm the civilian population in the city's 16 municipalities.
The program had the help of the church and local Catholic parishes were used as collections centers for the firearms. Among the leaders who helped push the program included Distrito Federal president Miguel Angel Mancera, Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu.
A second program will start soon, but its time was not specified in news accounts.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org