from InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas
InSight Crime Analysis
The case is an example of a method commonly used by Mexican drug gangs to get weapons, commissioning “straw buyers,” who usually have clean criminal records, to circumvent laws that prevent foreigners from buying guns in the US. Once legally purchased, the guns are smuggled into Mexico. Indeed, last year a high-ranking member of the Zetas told the authorities that all of the group's guns were bought in the United States and smuggled into Mexico across the Rio Grande.Contralinea magazine detailed the routes by which guns are trafficked into Mexico, including the flow of arms from the U.S. directly to Guatemala, and then over Mexico's southern border in a piece from November 2011.
Despite some attempts by the Obama administration to stem the flow of weapons across the border, there is little political will for real reform to US gun control legislation. The furor over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) botched “Fast and Furious” operation, which critics say allowed guns to “walk” across the border in the hopes of building cases against more high-ranking criminals in Mexico, has made gun control reform an even more heated issue.
For two decades, [Mexico's] southern border has been a port of entry for the weapons that feed the country's black market. There are 956 miles of border between Mexico and Guatemala, where it is enough to arrive to cities like Ciudad Hidalgo, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, or in border towns like Corozal, Talisman or Carmen Xhan, cross the checkpoints and walk around Tecun Uman, La Mesilla, Peten, El Carmen and Gracias a Dios to be offered weapons. Salesmen in shacks, adobe huts, or in the middle of the street offer the old M-16s and Galils that the Central American civil wars left behind; or more modern weapons, like the M72 and AT4 (anti-tank rockets), RPG-7 rocket-launchers, or 37-millimeter MGL grenade-launchers, with tracers and armor-piercing capacity, sold by catalogue, and a one-week wait before delivery.
The weapons arrive mostly from the United States, through air or maritime routes to Guatemala for distribution in Mexico, Central America, or South America. The advantage that this market offers is that purchases can be made without any middlemen, and that crossing is much easier than on the northern border.
Weapons acquired in Guatemala to supply the black market in Mexico are transported using the “hormiga” method, among the belongings of those who cross the border between the two countries -- identified as one of the most porous in the world. Or, if they are large shipments, they are transported along the Suchiate River, or in secret compartments in vehicles that cross the border, or in collusion with immigration and customs officials.
So, what is it? Are US guns feeding the Mexican Drug cartels,. or is it rubbish?
It sounds more like lax US firearms laws are feeding the drug cartels to me and the NRA is pointing out its policies of fighting any reasonable regulation is the cause.