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  • Guns for sale in Las Vegas, many are then smuggled into Mexico, fueling the country's insecurity crisis.

    Guns for sale in Las Vegas, many are then smuggled into Mexico, fueling the country's insecurity crisis. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Published 11 September 2019

Between 2013 and 2018, 70 percent of the 96,036 firearms seized by Mexican authorities, could be traced back to the U.S..

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard held a meeting Tuesday with U.S. Vicepresident Mike Pence and Senior advisor Jared Kushner where he called for the U.S. to implement gun controls to freeze the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico, a huge contributing factor the country’s issue of violence and insecurity. 

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Mexican newspaper La Jornada, reported that Ebrard presented Mexico’s proposal, that the U.S. implement controls in order to ‘freeze’ the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexico. The proposal was made during the bilateral meeting, at which Mexico was presenting the progress they had made in reducing Central American migration that reaches the United States. 

The meeting was organized after the U.S. presented an ultimatum to Mexico, giving them a deadline by which they had to prove progress on stemming migration or be hit with crippling tariffs on Mexican goods. 

The U.S. responded publicly accepting the need to combat the flow of U.S. weapons to Mexico. U.S. ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau tweeted on Tuesday, “The illegal flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico represents a common threat. Foreign Minister @m_ebrard highlighted this topic today at the White House. A bi-national group has just started, to identify and implement concrete measures to combat this threat. Stay tuned!”

A report published in August by Insight Crime found that between 2013 and 2018, 70 percent of the 96,036 firearms seized by Mexican authorities, could be traced back to the US. Lax gun laws in the U.S. mean that firearms are purchased legally there, then smuggled into Mexico where they end up in the hands of cartels. 

In the areas of Mexico that are close to the U.S. border, such as Tijuana, it is thought that “nearly every single gun seized by police since 2016 came from the United States”. In total, more than 210,000 weapons are smuggled from the US to Mexico every year.

Gun violence has been on the rise in the U.S., especially school shootings. According to data by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, there were 94 cases of gun violence in schools in 2018, a record high since 1970.

In 2017, there were 39,773 gun deaths, another record high since 1968 according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Progressives have criticized weak gun control laws which result in such violence. The NRA, a powerful gun lobby in the U.S., has also been criticized for promoting weapons, encouraging people to buy arms and also having an influence in U.S. politics.

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