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ATF Deploys Spanish eTrace to Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica

Mexico City, December 30, 2009 – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced a two-phase rollout of eTrace 4.0, the newest version of ATF's web-based firearms tracing software, to the governments of Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The bilingual edition, commonly called Spanish eTrace, will allow law enforcement agencies in those countries to easily capitalize on the full benefits of eTrace in Spanish or English, and will provide data conventions in accordance with international standards.

The first phase of the rollout is a live release of the software, in limited deployment to Mexico and the two Central American governments, in order to gauge system performance in a real-world user environment and to address user feedback. The second phase will entail full deployment to other international partners in Spanish-speaking nations. (A full news conference and demonstration of the new system is being planned at ATF headquarters as part of the second phase deployment.)

"Spanish eTrace marks the beginning of a new stage of cooperation between ATF and its international partners," said ATF Deputy Director Kenneth E. Melson. "It will strengthen our efforts as we stand .together at the frontlines against gun violence and illegal firearms trafficking. We must identify those who put guns in the hands of criminals, and comprehensive tracing of all recovered crime guns is the first step by law enforcement in stopping the violence that plagues many communities inside and outside the United States."

ATF's new software is an enhancement of the current English-only version of eTrace and provides a full, language translation capability to increase the ease of use of this pivotal crime fighting tool by Spanish-speaking nations. Previously, ATF's National Tracing Center (NTC) conducted firearms tracing for those governments in a painstaking, manual process. The new software was produced at the request of Spanish-speaking countries, so those users can input and retrieve data in their native language, in real-time; additionally, that information will be retrievable and searchable in English.

ATF's eTrace is a secure, Internet-based firearms tracing system that is operated by the NTC, the nation's only crime gun tracing facility. eTrace allows law enforcement agencies to submit and monitor electronic firearms trace requests, retrieve completed trace results, utilize crime mapping software and query firearms trace-related data. NTC provides critical information that helps federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies solve firearms crimes, detect firearms traffickers, and track the domestic and international trafficking of crime guns.

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ATF is a law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to preventing violent crime. More information on ATF and its programs is at

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