The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is set to roll out a new firearms-tracing software for use by the governments of Costa Rica, Mexico and Guatemala, according to the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica.
The new eTrace 4.0 program, an enhancement of the previous English-only version, provides translation into Spanish, a feature that ATF officials hope will increase the use of the crime-fighting tool in Latin America.
“Spanish (language) eTrace marks the beginning of a new stage of cooperation between ATF and its international partners,” Kenneth Melson, ATF’s deputy director, said in a statement. “It will strengthen our efforts as we stand together at the frontlines against gun violence and illegal firearms trafficking.”
The ATF, an agency within the U.S. Justice Department, has been conducting firearms tracing for Costa Rica, Mexico and Guatemala – countries known to be included in the region’s illicit arms and drug trafficking routes.
According to the news release, the new software was produced at the request of Spanish-speaking countries so that users can map out the gun trade themselves, in their language, in real time.
Law enforcement agents from the three countries to get the new software will be able to submit and monitor electronic firearms trace requests, retrieve completed trace results, utilize crime-mapping software and conduct other functions involved in the international crack down on gun trafficking, all in Spanish.
After a first-phase rollout in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico, ATF expects to launch a second phase to include more Spanish-speaking nations.