Six arrested for allegedly smuggling guns into Mexico

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Mexico has a lawsuit against a number of American gun manufacturers. The nation claims that the companies are responsible for the cartel violence that’s turned their third-world nation into something more accurately described as a failed state.

I don’t see how the manufacturers are responsible for a long and storied history of corruption and graft that directly led to the cartels’ rise to power, but fine, let’s say we accept that at face value.

If that’s true and these companies are responsible, which of these guys worked for Smith & Wesson?

Six men have been indicted on federal charges for allegedly being part of a scheme to smuggle weapons and ammunition to a violent Mexican cartel, officials announced Monday.

Four of the men were arrested Jan. 19 as part of Operation Infidelis, which targeted a weapons trafficking organization that worked with the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion, known as one of the largest and violent drug cartels in Mexico.

The six defendants were charged with conspiring to violate federal export laws by illegally bringing the weapons and ammunition to cartel operatives in Mexico, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Officials allege Marco Antonio Santillan Valencia, 51, of Whittier, led the gun trafficking organization that used narcotics proceeds to purchase assault rifles, hundreds of thousands of rounds of assault rifle ammunition and machine gun parts and accessories. Some of those were then smuggled into Mexico, mostly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

Additionally, a federal indictment charges the defendants in a conspiracy to violate export administration regulations that “restrict the export of items that could make a significant contribution to the military potential of other nations or that could be detrimental to the foreign policy or national security of the United States,” officials said. Five of the defendants also face various attempted smuggling counts.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how guns get into Mexico.

At least when they’re not being assisted by the ATF.

Anyway, so far it appears none of them have ties to any American gun manufacturer, which has kind of got to poke holes in Mexico’s lawsuit, don’t you think?

Of course, Mexico really just wants to gripe about American gun laws to cover for their own gross incompetence in dealing with the cartels themselves. They can’t handle them, which is a problem for voters, so they’re opting to deflect the issue onto someone else in hopes they keep their jobs.

Such behavior is hardly unique to Americans.

Yet if our guns were the source of the problem, the United States would be far uglier than Mexico, which has only one legal gun store in the entire nation.

The issue is people breaking laws. It’s always been the issue and it will always be the issue. Blaming companies for it won’t solve the issue or save Mexican lives.

Mexico would do well to start looking at other options, including asking for American help in treating the cartels like foreign invaders. That might actually do some good.