Investigators have traced 90 to 95 percent of weapons in Mexico to the US, but how did they get there? The guns sampled may not represent the bigger picture: the figure reflects firearms submitted for tracing by Mexican authorities. Authorities recover only a fraction of firearms from crimes and gun battles, and traces are only requested on some recovered weapons.
Central America, a region awash with weapons imported by both governments and rebel groups during the civil wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, is a further potential weapon source to Mexico, as are Chinese, Russian, Eastern European, or other sources. To date evidence is mainly anecdotal. Still less is known about the third source of weapons, the Mexican security forces themselves. The Small Arms Survey 2008 showed that weapons diverted from police and armed forces are a major and sometimes the main source of illicit weapons in many countries.
Some weapons used in Mexican crimes such as grenades, RPGs and fully automatic weapons are less easy to acquire in the US, and have probably arrived from elsewhere. This contrasts with Canada, where very few cases detail handguns from anywhere but the US, other than arms illegally diverted from legal Canadian supplies.
There you have it. Finally, here's an article which allows for the other sources of Mexican guns, Central American countries and the Mexican military itself, and properly qualifies that 90% business. Nevertheless, the point is exactly the same: too many guns bought in the United States are ending up in Mexico. As a solution we have this.
The authors speculate US authorities would not only have to stem the supply of smuggled weapons from the US, but also other potential sources to successfully block the flow of deadly arms to criminals and criminal organizations.
About Canada, there's no question, apparently.
What's your opinion? Does this description of the problem seem fair? To me, it seems like the authors were reading the comments on this blog an took some of that information into their report. What do you think?
What about Canada? Are the numbers so small we shouldn't worry about them?
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