Officials estimate that three-in-ten violent crimes in Mexico City are carried out with an authentic-looking toy gun. On Friday, in an effort to stop this, police destroyed thousands of toy guns.
Crime statistics are bad in the city, as in the first 11 months of 2012, officials documented 82,117 robberies and 1,349 homicides.
The Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera says that around three of every ten violent crimes in Mexico City involve a realistic-looking toy gun, and he says this is more than enough justification to destroy seven thousand replica guns.
The guns were collected from stores in Mexico City and surrounding areas and destroyed, as can be seen in the video above. Shops are suffering from this decision, as Sunday is "Día de Reyes" (Three Kings Day), when Mexican children traditionally receive their gifts.
Mexico has strict laws on gun ownership, and the country requires that toy weapons are made of transparent or colored plastic, with silver, grey and black being illegal colors. Also the size of the toy must vary to that of the original gun.
Besides destroying toy guns, officials in Mexico City have recently sponsored a program to give money, toys and computers in exchange for firearms.
This plan started in December in Iztapalapa, an area of the city where a month before a 10-year-old boy died when hit by a stray bullet, while watching a movie in a commercial cinema.