Xbox for your gun? Mexico tries swaps in drug fight

Newly elected Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has moved quickly to restore order to Mexico City by going after well-known crime dens and clearing the city's narrow streets of informal vendors. Police who have raided the capital's neighbourhoods in a push against drug violence hope to take guns off the streets by offering a trade-in deal. The program launched yesterday in Tepito, a warren of scruffy homes and market stalls a few blocks north of the capital's main square, which police stormed last month. The city promised to protect the anonymity of those who hand over the guns, which will be destroyed by the army.

City police chief Joel Ortega said anyone who turns in a high-calibre weapon (think machine gun) will get a computer. Owners can also swap smaller guns for cash or Microsoft Corporation's Xbox video-game consoles. Organizers say they have 100 computers ready for the first wave of the program, each worth 8,500 pesos (390 pounds) and equipped with software donated by Microsoft. On the first day, Olayo said the city received 17 guns, including 12 from Tepito. If successful, the program will be extended to Iztapalapa, another area targeted by police where last week 800 officers expropriated a six-block neighbourhood filled with stores selling parts torn from stolen cars.

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks Spartan_X)
News source: Reuters

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*Legal* guns are, but buying an illegal unregistered rifle/pistol without the proper papers going through appropriate channels is a HUGE business in which a simple 200 dollar gun can sell for upwards of 1500 USD.

These guys aren't going to Sports Mart and getting a gun, they're buying them from the dealers - at a high cost.

I think it'd be funny to be playing GRAW or GRAW2, and instead of getting shot at by ak47s and RPGs you peak around the corner only to be hit in the face by an xbox.

At least thats what I thought of while reading this 8)

hehe I'm form Mexico (but not Mexico City) and read about this in the paper, from what I understood a you can get a computer with a .45 gun or higher, past programs like this has been pretty successful though traditionally they have given out "gift certificates" of sorts valid at supermarkets.

Anyways, there was this guy who traded in like 4 guns and he got a computer + an xbox + the equivalent to around $750USD in cash

Hmm while a nice thing to do, I can see this leading to violence. Reason being people will robbing others of THEIR guns to turn in.

They could just rob innocent people's money if they wanted that. Even one crook stealing another's gun is a good alternative to an innocent bystander getting shot.