As part of the “100 Days of Speaking Out!”, a countdown to the treaty negotiations, Control Arms will regularly feature stories and profiles of different people who support a bulletproof ATT.
Emperatriz Crespin MD MPH, IPPNW/El Salvador
My consciousness about gun violence began at an early age, having a grandfather as a military man, and feeling the presence of guns every day in the family and those around us. I remember one uncle, during a discussion, aiming his gun against my father when I was only 6 years old. This experience marked me in a real way with a deep concern and understanding that guns can only be used for damage. My father was conscious about the danger of this, but there was always a gun at home when I was Young.
Being a doctor I have seen a lot of suffering at Salvadoran hospitals. Gun violence has dramatically affected El Salvador’s health system. I cannot be indifferent. I saw suffering when I was a child during a civil war and witnessed the impact on health services. I decided to work to prevent violence, and provide information to move the hearts of decision makers and people who cannot see that guns only lead to death and suffering. El Salvador is a country with inequality with very high rates of homicides (highest in the world) and violence against women – but we are fighting to change the situation. We are still suffering the impact of drug trafficking, availability of guns, lack of gun trade control, with little investment in helping survivors.
My country has been bleeding from the amount of resources allocated to violence instead of well-being and development. An Arms Trade Treaty based on benefits for populations and centered on the person would help to advance health and wellbeing and would be a tool to stop the cruel reality in the region.