From the US to Mexico: the arms trafficking route

The fight against drug trafficking has been changing course because it has been revealed that the weapons of the Mexican cartels come from the United States.

Stir lying on a surface with sand and bullets around.

Stir lying on a surface with sand and bullets around. / Photo: Pixabay - Reference Image

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: De EE.UU a México: la ruta del tráfico de armas

The second half of 2019 ends with bad news for Mexico in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. In addition to the multiple attacks by criminal gangs in different areas of the country, the failed operation against the son of 'El Chapo' Guzmán and the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel left the Mexican government in trouble.

In the midst of a battle that the government is fighting against the cartels, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reaffirmed his commitment to work together with the United States. However, the Mexican's way of proceeding may not be ideal for Trump, since the former has ensured that the war on drug trafficking will not take innocent lives as it did in past governments.

But that operation against Ovid Guzman resulted in throwing information that would change the course of the war on drug trafficking and continue to pressure the United States, a country that is normally the one that pressures in the war on drug trafficking. While the immense power of the Sinaloa Cartel is widely known, the fact that the weapons they use come from the United States increases the perception of dominance of this cirminal organization.

In the eyes of public opinion, this news was taken as a great irony because the United States has been the country that has led the fight against drug trafficking for years and has demanded that the governments of Mexico and other Central American countries strengthen the persecution.

As a result, both countries had to join forces beyond reproach or blame. According to the Mexican Foreign Minister, both countries decided to "freeze, not stop" the arms trade. This, with the purpose of completely stopping the growth of the posters.

However, before this, there had already been indications that much of the arms trafficking in Mexico came from the United States. According to data from the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), "70% of the weapons come from US armories and enter the Mexican territory through its northern border."

Precisely, weeks before this news occurred after the attempt to capture Guzman, the Foreign Ministry had already pressured the United States government to stop arms trafficking in exchange for the reduction in migration rates at the border between the two countries.

In this way, it has been shown that arms trafficking from the United States not only occurs on a large scale in the main cartels but also in the majority of crime in Mexico, since many of the reported cases are also of homicides not related to organized crime. BBC has reported that, although there are no official figures on the number of US weapons in the country, "organizations such as the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion (CESOP, in Spanish) of the Chamber of Deputies, estimate that there are more than 15 million."

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The bearing of arms in the United States

The flexibility and ease of obtaining firearms in the United States has been highly criticized by thousands of people, as this has allowed massive shootings to take place in the country. Now that it is also known that many weapons of drug trafficking come from there, critics have not ceased.

Although they may seem isolated events, it would be thought that the arms trade for drug cartels is large-scale. However,la the truth is that the cartels have taken advantage of this ease of access to weapons in the United States. The best known operation is called "ant traffic" and consists of hundreds of people who buy few weapons separately, so it does not attract attention a mass purchase. These weapons are then sent to Mexico and end up being used by the cartels.


And despite the fact that the flag of the American country to protect the sale and bearing of weapons is that the procedures are rigorous, they are not only insufficient, but many places online, BBC reports, do not review the background of the buyers. In this way, online shopping has also facilitated virtually unlimited and indiscriminate access to weapons.

Weapons from Central America

Currently, the problem with the North American country has drawn attention, but other countries in Central America have played an important role in entering Mexico from the southern border. Focusing on the northern border has allowed southern Mexico to become a scene of violence and drug and arms trafficking. According to El Universal, "AK-47 guns and rifles whose main destination has been the capital of the country" are entering from the south.

Mexico City also has an important index of violence and homicides, in addition to housing one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, Tepito. There arrive many of the weapons that come from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize and enter through Quintana Roo, to the south east of the country. Thanks to this access, Tepito has become, says El Universal, "the largest winery in the country."