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Mexican government calls on Biden’s administration for help to stop smuggling of illegal weapons

Mexico asks Biden administration to help stop the flow of guns from the US, as country says about 70% of the weapons used in crimes there come from America

  • The Mexican government estimates that 2.5 million to 3 million illegal weapons were smuggled from the United States over the last 10 years
  • Of the weapons tied to the US that have been used in crimes in Mexico, at least 41% have been trafficked from Texas, while 19% were smuggled from California, a Mexico government report says
  • Part of the country’s inability to control gun trafficking from the U.S. stems from a lack of sufficient technology at border entry points 

Mexico has asked for help from the Biden administration when it comes to getting guns off its streets.

Guns used in crimes in Mexico are also tied to the United States, the Mexican government says. It says about 70 percent of crimes committed with guns in Mexico are linked to guns that came from the U.S. And of those, more than 40 percent come from Texas alone.

Fabían Medina, chief of the Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said Thursday that there have been at least 2.5 million to 3 million illegal firearms smuggled into the country during the last 10 years.

Mexico is already ramping up its efforts to seek more cooperation from its U.S. counterparts with the incoming Biden administration in fighting the illegal weapons, according to Border Report.

‘The Mexican government is going to propose specific actions to U.S. authorities, including intrusive and non-intrusive inspections of vehicles at the border, as well as the use of technology to stop arms trafficking,’ Fabían said in an online forum.  

A Mexican soldier destroys weapons seized from alleged drug traffickers or handed in by residents at a military zone in Mexico City in 2016. Fabían Medina, chief of the Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, said Thursday that there have been at least 2.5 million to 3 million illegal firearms smuggled into the country during the last 10 years

Mexican soldiers dismantle weapons seized from alleged drug traffickers at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Mexico City in 2010.

Mexican soldiers dismantle weapons seized from alleged drug traffickers at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Mexico City in 2010.

Some of the weapons (pictured) that were used in the June 2020 failed plot to kill Mexico City's police chief were smuggled from the United States, Mexican authorities say

Some of the weapons (pictured) that were used in the June 2020 failed plot to kill Mexico City’s police chief were smuggled from the United States, Mexican authorities say

A study released in December by the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection said of the guns traced back to the United States that were used in crimes in Mexico, 41 percent could be tied back to Texas, one of the states the country shares the 1,954-mile border with. 

As many as 19 percent of weapons were ferried in from California and an additional 15% were smuggled from Arizona. The rest of the United States contributed to 25 percent of guns and rifles that illegally crossed over the border.    

The flow of illegal weapons into Mexico stems in part because of Mexico’s inability to check every single vehicle that crosses via the roads and bridges that connect both nations. 

Mexican soldiers stand guard next to weapons seized from alleged drug traffickers or handed in by residents before they are destroyed at a military zone in Mexico City in 2016

Mexican soldiers stand guard next to weapons seized from alleged drug traffickers or handed in by residents before they are destroyed at a military zone in Mexico City in 2016

For example, Mexican border authorities inspect one out of every 20 vehicles. Immigration authorities at the Bridge of America have only one X-ray machine to process the inspection of vehicles going into Ciudad Juaréz.

Most of the weapons are trafficked through the southern Texas cities of McAllen, El Paso, Eagle Pass and Laredo. 

Mexico has also slammed the ease of purchasing weapons in the U.S. – especially in states that are close to its border. The four border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are home to 22,689 gun shops, the Mexico government said.

Mexico allows its citizens to carry limited firearms, but with strict regulations. 

Josiah Heyman, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Interamerican and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso, said during the online conference that gun trafficking rings have been able to take advantage of the lax security by shipping weapons across the border in small quantities.

According to a Houston Chronicle report, a cartel received 27 guns that were moved from Houston to the nearby northeastern Mexican city of Coahuila during a stretch of six months. Another trafficking scheme involved a cache of weapons that were smuggled from El Paso into Ciudad Juaréz before landing in the hands of criminal groups in Chihuahua.  

Weapons also used by the cartel in a failed plot to assassinate Mexico City security chief Omar García Harfuch on June 26, 2020, had been smuggled from the United States. 

Heyman called on both governments to sit at the table and find a better solution to the problem. 

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