The recent incidents of mass gun violence in the news are the extreme tip of a global arms craze, in which the arms industry shuttles weapons through tangled networks involving law enforcement, drug cartels, and shady dealings in Washington. The collusion between guns and our political system is no conspiracy theory: the country’s romance with guns is part of the “American Way.” What’s less well-known is how this violence is trafficked transnationally–and in turn fueling the bloody drug war south of the border. In light of the militarization of the border patrol, and the harsh barriers immigrant families face in trying to stay intact after making their journey, the U.S.-Mexico border seems remarkably porous when it comes to weapons, as opposed to people.
This video by Cuéntame and the Washington Office on Latin America, part of a campaign to stop gun smuggling into Mexico, shows the lines of accountability in the gun trade. According to official data, “Over the last 5 years, nearly 60,000 people have lost their lives in Mexico’s drug-related wave of violence. More than 70% of the weapons seized in Mexico in the last three years and submitted for tracing came from the U.S.”
Whether the victims are in a theater in Aurora or the streets of Juarez, it’s always the innocent who get caught in the crossfire while the gun industry aims for ever higher profits.
To learn more, go to the campaign page.