Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Mexico Unveils Collaborative Initiative with US to Enhance Gun Tracing

REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy/File Photo

Rosa Icela Rodriguez, the Mexican Security Minister, announced on Wednesday that Mexico and the U.S. have agreed to increase scrutiny over the illegal firearms trade. The plan will utilize an electronic tracking system to monitor firearms confiscated from criminal entities, she informed at a press briefing.

This week, representatives from both nations debated the issue of weapons being trafficked from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels, which in turn traffic substances like fentanyl into the U.S. Alicia Barcena, the incoming foreign minister, urged for U.S. support in order to curb this circulation that empowers the cartels.

Barcena explained that the new system will allow the tracking of firearm locations in Mexico, aiding the formulation of seizure strategies. Although detailed specifics of the plan's extent were not provided by either official, Barcena mentioned that the defense ministry data indicates that around 200,000 weapons make their way into Mexico each year.

She further revealed that Mexico had suggested to the U.S. that it should revoke the licenses of gun stores proven to be selling arms to the cartels. Additional proposals include amplified oversight of license issuers, increased seizures, and an expanded focus on arrests beyond just intermediaries. According to Barcena, these suggestions were positively received.

This comes on the heels of Mexico's appeal to a U.S. court to resurrect a $10 billion lawsuit. This legal action, supported by various Caribbean nations, seeks to hold U.S. firearms manufacturers accountable for facilitating arms trafficking to drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Data from the U.S. gun-tracing bureau, the ATF, reveals that approximately 70% of traced firearms used in crimes and confiscated in Mexico originate from the U.S., a figure that rises to nearly 80% throughout the Caribbean.

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