Curbing illicit firearms trade crucial to success of U.S.-Mexico security deal

In order to fulfill its promise of addressing the root causes of drug violence, addiction, and human trafficking, the proposed security deal between the United States and Mexico must create a more transparent and responsible firearms trade north of the border, according to Mexico’s foreign affairs ministry. “Illicit firearms trafficking is determinant to the challenge of public safety,” said Alejandro Celorio, legal consultant at the Foreign Ministry. Conceived under the acceptance of shared responsibility for the problems of drug trafficking, addiction, and violence in both countries, the recently proposed “U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health, and Safe Communities” intends to consider new strategies to stop firearms sold in the United States from reaching Mexico. Citing statistics compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Government Accountability Office reported this past February that the vast majority of guns used in criminal acts in Mexico come from the United States. The ATF traced 70% of firearms recovered in Mexico from 2014 to 2018 back to the United States, though that number is most likely higher as those figures do not include data on unreported weapons. Mexico, a country with only one gun store operating legally, has been flooded with U.S.-sold firearms over the past decade. One study by the Mexican government puts that number at around 2.5 million. But while stanching the largely unmitigated flow of firearms crossing the border from north to south is a requisite for lowering Mexico’s record-high levels of violence , the lack […]

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