SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Authorities destroyed roughly 2,000 firearms Monday and plan to use the mangled metal to build a monument promoting peace.
The Dominican Republic's attorney general, Francisco Dominguez, and other officials gathered in the capital of Santo Domingo to watch a steamroller destroy the haul of guns seized by police over the years.
The metal from the destroyed weapons will be given to sculptor Jose Ignacio Morales, who has been commissioned to build a peace memorial. It's not yet clear where the sculpture will be located or when it will be completed.
In recent years, some 70 percent of the Caribbean country's nearly 2,000 annual killings have been carried out with guns, most of them illegal. Police and interior ministry officials estimate there are roughly 200,000 guns in the nation of more than 10 million people.