EFECiudad Juárez, Mexico

An arms-for-cash exchange began on Wednesday in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez with the aim of removing weapons that could be used to generate violence or commit crime.

The program, which will run till Dec. 21, is promoted by the municipal government, the Trust for Competitiveness and Citizen Security, the Secretariat of National Defense and the National Chamber of Commerce (Canaco).

"They are weapons that can be used as (an) object of crime or object (to cause an) accident. Safety is a condition that we all must contribute to, not only the authorities. That is why they are invited to participate," the commander of the military garrison in Juárez, Francisco Antonio Enríquez Rojas, told Efe.

Rogelio Ramos, president of Canaco added that it is "a preventive program that avoids the loss ... of lives in the city."