Mexican National Security Commissioner Renato Sales has revealed that 2,000 guns manufactured in the United States are smuggled to Mexican cartels and criminals on a daily basis, significantly increasing violence and unrest in the Central American country.
Speaking at the National Autonomous University of Mexico City on Thursday, Sales explained that the ever-increasing availability of the weapons is one of the main contributors to violent deaths in the country. The commissioner added that deaths resulting from gun violence currently accounted for 70 percent of all homicides, having significantly increased since the US-guided so-called war on drugs began in Mexico in 2006, when the rate was at only 10 percent.
Struggling against an upsurge of violence resulting from drug cartels, Mexico has been unable to stifle weapon smuggling from the US. Many of the weapons are reportedly acquired legally in the States only to be illegally brought to Mexico, where they are commonly customized to obtain more lethal and automatic firing.
“Weapons, illegal money, human trafficking and drugs use the same border crossings. The U.S. asks us to support their immigration policy and we ask them to support the weapons policy,” said Sales.
“It’s ironic, but it’s much more simple to go and buy a high-caliber gun than cough syrup: to buy the syrup you need a medical prescription and for a weapon, nothing.”
Moreover, a 2016 report published by the US Government Accountability Office claimed that about 70 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities were of American origin. The US has, however, resisted implementation of higher gun control standards and border regulation, commonly characterizing the illegal trafficking as solely a Mexican responsibility.
Speaking to the Venezuela-based Telesur channel, Mexican deputy attorney for human rights Sara Irene Herreria explained that the lack of gun control for weapons originating from the US had made weapons trafficking one of the most complex sectors of the Mexican black market for criminal cartels and individuals.
Earlier this year, the Mexican Interior Ministry reported that 29,168 people had been killed in 2017 alone, marking the country's highest homicide rate since the government began keeping records in 1997.
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