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CBS News has learned that the Mexican Government has retained an American law firm to explore filing civil charges against U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors over the flood of guns crossing the border into Mexico.
Sources say Mexico's frustration with U.S. efforts to stop the flow of weapons has pushed them into this novel approach. The law firm is looking at charges that may include civil RICO. The contract was signed on November 2, 2010 by a representative of Mexico's Attorney General, at their Washington embassy.
On November 5, 2010 President Felipe Calderon expressed his frustration to CBS News correspondent Peter Greenberg: "We seized more than 90,000 weapons...I am talking like 50,000 assault weapons, AR-15 machine guns, more than 8,000 grenades and almost 10 million bullets. Amazing figures and according to all those cases, the ones we are able to track, most of these are American weapons."
Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth
In addition to watching tactical developments of the cartel wars on the ground and studying the dynamics of the conflict among the various warring factions, we have also been paying close attention to the ways that both the Mexican and U.S. governments have reacted to these developments. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects to watch has been the way in which the Mexican government has tried to deflect responsibility for the cartel wars away from itself and onto the United States. According to the Mexican government, the cartel wars are not a result of corruption in Mexico or of economic and societal dynamics that leave many Mexicans marginalized and desperate to find a way to make a living. Instead, the cartel wars are due to the insatiable American appetite for narcotics and the endless stream of guns that flows from the United States into Mexico and that results in Mexican violence.
Interestingly, the part of this argument pertaining to guns has been adopted by many politicians and government officials in the United States in recent years. It has now become quite common to hear U.S. officials confidently assert that 90 percent of the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels come from the United States. However, a close examination of the dynamics of the cartel wars in Mexico — and of how the oft-echoed 90 percent number was reached — clearly demonstrates that the number is more political rhetoric than empirical fact.
As we discussed in a previous analysis, the 90 percent number was derived from a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress on U.S. efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico (see external link).
According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.
This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.
Counting Mexico’s Guns
There’s no dispute that thousands of handguns, military-style rifles and other firearms are purchased in the U.S. and end up in the hands of Mexican criminals each year. It’s relatively easy to buy such guns legally in Texas and other border states and to smuggle them across.
But is it true, as President Obama said, that "[m]ore than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States?" Government statistics don’t actually support that claim.
and the program was is to let arms be sold to individuals who then sell them take them in to Mexico, but it backfired it got a border agent killed, and then makes national news www.cbsnews.com... i love this may have had the opposite effect from the cbcnews
BORDERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
ATF Fact Sheet
ATF is deploying its resources strategically on the Southwest Border to deny firearms, the “tools of the trade,” to criminal organizations in Mexico and along the border, and to combat firearms-related violence affecting communities on both sides of the border. In partnership with other U.S. agencies and with the Government of Mexico, ATF refined its Southwest Border strategy. ATF developed Project Gunrunner to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico and thereby deprive the narcotics cartels of weapons. The initiative seeks to focus ATF’s investigative, intelligence and training resources to suppress the firearms trafficking to Mexico and stem the firearms-related violence on both sides of the border.
well let see the weapon sold was then used to kill a border agent and said weapon was part of there program, now if some one should get sued, should it not be the ATF er BATFE
Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF
Program aimed at stopping the flow of weapons from the US to Mexico may have allegedly had the opposite effect
Originally posted by jefwane
I'd also like to really know where in the US these Mexican gangs are getting RPGs, full auto weapons, and hand grenades cause I'd really like some of those myself.