Expert: Drug Wars in Mexico Drive Demand for Weapons – Including From the US

CNS News | 2/14/2018 | Staff
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Mexico City (CNSNews.com) – A splintering of the drug cartels in Mexico and territory battles between them are fueling the demand for weapons, including guns manufactured in the U.S.

“Because of the warfare going on between the cartels they’ve needed more and more guns and heavier caliber guns. We have seen a militarization of the cartels,” said Scott Stewart, vice president of tactical analysis for the global risk consultancy Stratfor.

US - Cheapest - Source - Guns - Mexico

While the U.S. is the “closest, cheapest, and fastest” source of guns flowing into Mexico, the drug cartels have the resources to purchase guns from other sources, including Eastern Europe, Asia and China, Stewart said.

“The demand and economics that are driving the gun market in Mexico are very similar to the drug market in the U.S. and as long as there is that demand, somebody is going to fill it.”

Influx - Hand - Grenades - Mexico - South

More recently, there has been a huge influx of hand grenades entering Mexico from South Korea, Stewart said, noting that organized crime is also able to obtain guns sold by the U.S. government to security forces in the region.

“We have seen some M16 machine guns sold to Latin American governments and then sold in Mexico from Honduras and Guatemala.”

Number - Guns - Mexico - US - Year

The number of guns entering Mexico illegally from the U.S. each year is in the “thousands,” said Stewart, but added that no-one can know the exact number.

“It’s very, very difficult. It’s like trying to do an estimate on how much cocaine is being shipped into the U.S.”

Cartels - Arms - United - States - Secretary

The Mexican cartels are “very well armed,” and “most of those arms are coming from the United States” according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Speaking in Austin, Texas prior to his recent Latin America tour, Tillerson said the U.S. inspects 90 percent fewer trucks leaving the U.S. for Mexico compared to those coming the other way.

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