2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Western Hemisphere--Destroying Excess Ammunition in El Salvador

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

A civil war in the 1980’s left more than 70,000 dead in El Salvador. Today El Salvador’s murder rate is among the highest in the world, in large part due to gang violence. The government of El Salvador is working to contain trafficking of illicit weapons and destroy surplus ammunition stockpiles in hopes of maintaining security. In October 2017, funded by PM/WRA, HALO began operations to upgrade and restore munitions, destroy civil war-era weapon parts and explosive debris, and provide EOD and PSSM training to local Salvadorean authorities. While some of the activities are still in the planning phase, HALO had some recent demolition success.

On June 7, 2017, with local armed forces approval, a HALO EOD specialist initiated the incineration of 100,000 rounds of different calibers of ammunition.

The incineration, led by the HALO EOD specialist using two ovens, was finalized in three days with an average of four incinerations per day. During the period approved for the incineration, an extra 3,300 rounds were proposed for destruction. HALO and the Estado Mayor Conjunto de Fuerzas Armadas (EMCFA) carried it out in three burns since the rounds were .50 caliber.

On June 13, 2017, with local armed forces approval, HALO melted 622 obsolete weapons.

Date: 2018 Description: Five photos depicting various stages of the incineration of surplus military ammunition by El Salvador's military with HALO technical assistance and funded by PM/WRA. © Photos courtesy of HALO