“Sol Prendido” for Borderland Beat

U.S. congressmen presented a bill that plans to increase collaboration to identify, target, break and dismantle criminal organizations.

CBP officer inspecting the U.S.-Mexico border.

US congressmen presented a bill “to disarm the drug cartels” by controlling arms trafficking to Mexico, one of the issues creating tensions with the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In every high-level meeting between the two countries, the Mexican government complains that it has only one armory in the entire country but each year it registers almost 30,000 deaths by firearms and more than half a million U.S.-made weapons are trafficked.

In addition, at least 70% of the firearms recovered from crime scenes in Mexico are traced back to the United States.

To combat the problem, eleven Democratic congressmen ask the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, to increase “interagency collaboration to identify, target, break and dismantle transnational criminal organizations responsible for exporting firearms and ammunition from the United States to Mexico”.

They also ask for greater coordination with Mexican agencies and to submit annual reports on the issue.

AR-15 rifles on sale in Pennsylvania, United States

Authorities from both countries exchange weapons for fentanyl

Authorities in both countries claim that criminal organizations operating in Mexico buy firearms and ammunition from US-based retailers or exchange them for drugs such as fentanyl, an opiate that is causing havoc in the United States.

“For years, U.S. guns have fueled violence, instability and forced migration” in Latin America and the Caribbean, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro said in a statement.

“The United States can do more to prevent the weapons we manufacture from getting into the hands of criminal organizations that smuggle fentanyl and other deadly drugs into the United States,” he added.

His colleague Mike Thompson agreed, in the same statement, that fighting crime along the border with Mexico involves “addressing the export of U.S. weapons.”

The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden claims to have taken action against this scourge.

Mexico, for its part, filed a civil lawsuit in 2021 against the main U.S. arms manufacturers, accusing them of “negligent and illicit trade”.