In an attempt to deflect from their own woeful mismanagement, Mexican politicians often try to blame the country’s violent crime problem on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. However, recent news regarding at least one drug cartel manufacturing their own firearms and public corruption show that Mexico’s problems go far deeper than the rights enjoyed by their wealthy neighbors to the north.
Back in August 2021, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against the most prominent U.S. gun manufacturers alleging that these heavily regulated businesses were somehow responsible for Mexico’s violent crime problem. The Mexico suit was filed with the help of handgun prohibition group Brady (formerly Handgun Control, Inc.), and specifically longtime Brady counsel Jonathan Lowy.
Sanity prevailed on September 30, when U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV dismissed Mexico’s lawsuit in its entirety. However, on October 10 the Mexican government filed a second federal suit in Arizona against five U.S. gun dealers.
According to a December 27 post on BorderlandBeat.com, back in 2014 a prominent drug cartel in the Mexican state of Jalisco started manufacturing their own firearms. The item stated that the “criminal group put into operation two medium-scale factories for AR-15 rifles.”
The article went on to report,
"We are securing a highly sophisticated machinery, which has a very precise software that allowed to make the cuts to finish the mechanism of the weapon and that the weapon finished perfectly," said the then Jalisco prosecutor, Luis Carlos Nájera.
Inside the premises in the Villa Guerrero neighborhood, Jalisco state police found a CNC lathe machine, several metal molds for making magazines, butts, barrels and firing mechanisms.
Authorities presumed that the factory had the capacity to build around 20 rifles per day.
This week, the federal trial against Mexico’s former secretary of public security, Genaro Garcia Luna, began in New York City. According to the Associated Press, Garcia Luna was formerly Mexico’s “top cop,” and “led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005, then served as secretary of public security to then-President Felipe Calderon from 2006 to 2012.”
Federal prosecutors allege that the former Mexican government official was on the Sinaloa cartel’s payroll. Summarizing the prosecutor’s opening arguments, the AP reported,
“The person who’s supposed to be in charge of fighting the Sinaloa cartel was actually its most valued asset ... and with his help, the cartel made millions,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Philip Pilmar told jurors. He called García Luna “a man who betrayed both his country and ours.”
If what federal prosecutors allege is true, a reasonable person might wonder how difficult the cartels find it to procure firearms from government sources.
The truth is that Mexico’s violent criminals have no shortage of ways to obtain all sorts of weaponry.
Back in 2011, when the Obama administration was using Mexican violence to push its domestic gun control agenda, U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks showed how criminals were able to get their hands on military-grade hardware.
As explained by the Latin American Herald Tribune,
The most fearsome weapons wielded by Mexico’s drug cartels enter the country from Central America, not the United States, according to U.S. diplomatic cables disseminated by WikiLeaks and published on Tuesday by La Jornada newspaper.
Items such as grenades and rocket-launchers are stolen from Central American armies and smuggled into Mexico via neighboring Guatemala, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reported to Washington.
None of this is new.
A United Press International report from January 1979, titled “Cops don’t give a shoot about guns in Mexico,” noted, “At least 75 percent of Mexico City’s 30,000 policemen have either lost, hocked or sold their guns, according to a police survey.” The piece went on to explain, “Many officers, the survey added, sell their new weapons and buy old ones to make a little money.”
Rather than targeting American small businessmen, the Mexican government might try exercising a little sovereignty over its own territory.