The US Embassy in Mexico assured that more than seven out of every ten weapons used by criminals in the country come from the United States. During the meeting called "Challenges and best practices in combating arms trafficking between Mexico and the United States," the ambassador Ken Salazar, insisted in intensifying collaboration between the governments of both countries "to interrupt cross-border arms trafficking in all its stages."
"More than 70% of the weapons that arrive in Mexico, with which violence is generated in this country, arrive from the United States, manufactured by companies there," said Salazar. "We work to combat firearms trafficking into Mexico and keep our communities safe. "Seizing weapons before they enter Mexico and dismantling the criminal networks behind illicit trafficking are a top priority."
Trabajamos para combatir el tráfico de armas de fuego hacia 🇲🇽 y mantener seguras nuestras comunidades. La incautación de armas antes de que ingresen a 🇲🇽 y el desmantelamiento de las redes criminales detrás del tráfico ilícito son prioridad máxima. https://t.co/gYSbYdpUYL… pic.twitter.com/2iXaeuC8x0
— Embajador Ken Salazar (@USAmbMex) December 4, 2023
3,823 weapons intercepted
For Salazar, "the problem is bilateral," which is why he is requesting closer and more rigid cooperation between the governments of the United States and Mexico, even though he recognizes that "they work daily in an operational manner and at all levels."
During the meeting, the ambassador also dedicated a few words to highlight eTrace, a system to "interrupt firearms trafficking, track those weapons, and hold those who traffic them accountable." Thanks to this, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) "has intercepted 3,823 firearms which would have entered Mexico" and there are 327 open files under investigation. Salazar highlighted that with less than a month left until the end of 2023, "463 suspects have been arrested."
References to two anti-crime operations
The ambassador stressed the importance of two operations carried out to fight crime and delinquency. With the first, called "Operation Southbound" and adopted by the US Administration, investigations into arms trafficking increased by 40% and the record of seizures increased by 11% since its beginning.
With the second, nicknamed "Operation Last Mile," they arrested 3,337 members or people linked to the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels, in addition to intercepting 8,496 firearms, between May 1, 2022, and May 1, 2023.
Nine of the top ten cities with the highest homicide rate are in Mexico
The organization Security, Justice and Peace: Citizen Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice AC published a ranking of the cities with the highest homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the world in 2022 and nine of the top ten are Mexican.
Colima was the city with the highest registration, with a rate of 181.94 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Zamora was ranked next, with 177.73 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, and Ciudad Obregón, with 138.23 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.