Mexico and the United States have agreed to step up oversight of arms trafficking with a system to electronically track firearms seized from criminal organizations, Mexican Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez said on Wednesday, July 26th.
“The United States and Mexico have agreed to the electronic monitoring of all the firearms seized in our country from criminal organizations,” Rodriguez told a press conference.
Officials from both countries this week discussed the flow of firearms from the United States to Mexican cartels that traffic drugs such as fentanyl into the U.S.
“We want the United States to help us so we can stop this flow because this is what strengthens the cartels,” incoming foreign minister Alicia Barcena said at the press conference.
Barcena said the plan aimed to keep track of where guns are found in Mexico to help inform seizure strategies. Neither official provided further details on the plan’s scope.
Some 200,000 weapons enter Mexico annually, Barcena noted, citing data from the defense ministry.
One of Mexico’s main proposals to the U.S. was that it revoke licenses of gun stores that sell firearms to cartels, she said. Others included more oversight of license providers, more seizures, and more arrests that focus not just on the middlemen.
Barcena said the proposals had been “very well received.”
They come after Mexico urged a U.S. appeals court to revive a $10 billion lawsuit, backed by many Caribbean countries, that aims to hold U.S. gun makers responsible for facilitating arms trafficking to drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to U.S. Gun Tracing Bureau ATF, some 70% of traced firearms used to commit crimes and seized in Mexico come from the U.S. This rises to around 80% across the Caribbean.
Source: El Financiero