Mexico City, Dec 4 (EFE).- More than 70% of the weapons used by organized crime in Mexico come from the United States, the US ambassador to this country, Ken Salazar, acknowledged this Monday.
“More than 70% of the weapons that arrive in Mexico, with which violence is generated in this country, come from the United States, manufactured by companies there,” said Salazar during the inauguration of the round table ‘Challenges and best practices in the combating arms trafficking between Mexico and the United States’, held in Mexico City.
Furthermore, the American diplomat pointed out that “the problem is bilateral” and requires joint work by the governments of both countries “to discover these weapons before they cross.”
He recalled that one of President Joe Biden’s commitments is to stop illegal firearms trafficking and maintain close cooperation with Mexico.
“With respect for their respective sovereignties, our countries work daily operationally and at all levels to interrupt cross-border arms trafficking at all stages, and this roundtable exemplifies the historic coordination between our governments to achieve results that translate into greater security and well-being for our nations,” he noted.
Salazar highlighted that in the United States the ‘eTrace’ system has interrupted firearms trafficking, its tracking and holding traffickers accountable.
He specified that to date there are 327 open investigations and the Agency for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “has intercepted 3,823 firearms that would have entered Mexico.”
He said that in 2023, US authorities launched 655 investigations and arrested 463 suspects based on information obtained through eTrace and other mechanisms.
In addition, he noted that since the beginning of ‘Operation Southbound’, the number of investigations into firearms trafficking into Mexico has increased by 40% and the number of firearms seized in these investigations has increased by eleven %.
While “Operation Last Mile”, which targeted operatives, associates and distributors affiliated with the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels, from May 1, 2022 to May 1, 2023, included more than 1,436 investigations and among others Results highlighted 3,337 arrests and the seizure of 8,496 firearms.
In mid-November, a group of Democratic congressmen presented a bill that seeks to control the trafficking of firearms and ammunition across the United States border with Mexico.
The project proposes an expansion in the collection and analysis of information about firearms recovered at crime sites in Mexico to identify smugglers operating within the United States. EFE