**FILE** Horace Chang (Courtesy photo)
**FILE** Horace Chang (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Horace Chang, chairman of the CARICOM Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) and Jamaica’s National Security Minister, said the illicit trafficking of illegal firearms continues to be a significant challenge for the region.

Addressing a committee on May 26 on Hemispheric Security at the Organization of American States by video-conference, Dr. Chang pointed out that the Caribbean “accounts for approximately 23 percent of all recorded homicides, with an average homicide rate of 15.1 per 100,000 people, which is nearly three times the world average.”

The Jamaican National Security Minister told the hemispheric security officials that “the proliferation and increased access to illegal firearms account for the high level of armed violence and insecurity within our regions.”

Dr. Chang pointed out that “the firearm is the weapon of choice for committing homicides and other acts of crime and violence.” 

“In this regard, I have to underscore the need for greater collaboration and partnership to combat the scourge of the illicit trafficking of firearms,” he said while also making reference to a disturbing surge in drug trafficking. 

“The UNODC reports that the number of new psychoactive substances emerging on illicit drug markets has increased six-fold in the past decade and reached a record high of over 1,000 unique substances in 2020,” he said.

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