Did you know that in 2012 Venezuela will open the first AK-47 factory in Latin America?
In June 2005 Venezuela bought 100,000 Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles–a variant of the classic AK-47 model- from the Russian Federation in a transaction worth 54 million dollars.
The press widely reported that the objective of the purchase was to introduce the assault rifle as a standard weapon for the National Armed Forces.
The sale also included weapon accessories such as clips and bayonets, as well as 74 million calibre 7 cartridges (62×39 mm), 2 thousand spare part sets, 50 sets of gauges, 2 thousand user manuals and 5 unified simulators used for shooting practice with the rifles. Also included is the transferral of production technology making Venezuela the only country in the region capable of producing AK47's and its variants.
The National Armed Forces have shown a lack of financial transparency throughout the business arrangement with the Russian federation making it increasingly hard to track the large scale sale of these weapons. In fact it was Valdimir Zaemskiy, the Russian ambassador in Caracas, who recently announced to the public and press that the Venezuelan AK-47 factory would become operational by 2012 describing himself as being 'optimistic'. The diplomat went on to say “We hope that work starts by the end of this year or the beginning of next year so as to begin setting up the plant with technological equipment and allowing production of the rifles to start by 2012."
Amnesty International describes the AK-47 as "the most preferred killing machine in the world”.
Do we really need yet another factory creating yet more killing machines? Or is it better to channel all this money and effort into building housing and schools that promote life not end it?
The Venezuela Peace Laboratory is planning an awareness raising campaign in order to send a strong message rejecting the manufacture of AK-47's in Venezuela. This will be done under the slogan "AK not here".