We here in the United States hear a lot about the cartel violence in Mexico. To be fair, having a country that close to being a failed state on our southern border is far from an ideal circumstance. It’s the kind of thing any security-minded person should be thinking about. We should be paying attention to it.
However, it’s difficult to understand just what’s happening when you’re only given part of the information.
You see, we’ve written multiple stories addressing the claim that American guns are responsible for Mexican violence. The American media has been blaming the firearm industry and American gun owners, but it seems there’s far more to the story than our media has bothered to tell us.
Since 2000, almost three-quarters of the 119 journalists murdered in Mexico were killed by firearms, an investigation by the Cartel Project has found – and most of those weapons are imported.
“Almost all of the journalists in Mexico are killed with foreign weapons,” said Laura Angelina Borbolla, a former federal prosecutor in charge of investigating crimes against journalists. More than 90% of the killings remain unsolved.
Wait for it…
An international coalition of journalists, coordinated by the non-profit Forbidden Stories, examined the flow of weapons into Mexico in an effort to understand where the guns are coming from.
The main findings include:
- Weapons manufactured in Europe and Israel sold legally to the Mexican army – as well as guns trafficked illegally across the US border – are probably being used to commit human rights violations and gangland executions, according to declassified military documents obtained by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Stop US Arms to Mexico.
- Trade is booming, but European arms companies are shipping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of guns, parts and ammunition to Mexican states with dire human rights records.
- Multinational arms companies could be violating European export laws as only a fraction of end-users are being reported, according to analysis of the documents published in a new report bya group of international NGOs.
- A combination of weak international regulations and a culture of impunity in Mexico makes tracing firearms used to commit crimes back to their origins virtually impossible.
In other words, while guns are crossing the border, it’s not the only way the cartels are getting guns. In fact, it looks like a much larger portion than we realized are being sold directly to the cartels from unscrupulous sellers.
But yeah, we Americans should totally just roll over and accept further infringements on our rights just because Mexico’s house is a mess.
Further, if it’s so difficult to trace firearms in Mexico, just how can they possibly conclude that most guns use in Mexico are American? The answer to that is, “They can’t.”
You see, what happens is that the U.S. actually tries to work with Mexico and provides tracing information. No one else does. As a result, the only guns they can find an origin point for are those that came from the United States. It doesn’t necessarily mean most guns are from the U.S., only that the only place they know guns are coming from is here.
Meanwhile, there are tons of firearms flowing in from Europe.
Even if we somehow locked down gun-running between the U.S. and Mexico, the cartels would still get guns. We can even get a glimpse of where they would come from, so let’s stop pretending our rights have to be curtailed or that we’re responsible for what happens south of our own border.