Thursday, December 27, 2012

ATF: Most Guns at Mexican Crime Scenes Traced to US

Borderland Beat

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times
More than 68 percent of the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes over a five-year period were traced to U.S. manufacturers or U.S. dealers who import firearms, according to statistics of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Between 2007 and 2011, Mexican law enforcement submitted 99,691requests to the ATF for tracing, and 68,161 of those firearms were determined to come from U.S. makers or were legally imported into the United States by federally licensed firearms dealers.

The ATF said it was unable to determine the source of the rest of the firearms because of missing information about the guns themselves, where they came from and how they got into Mexico.

Mexican drug cartels have waged brutal battles over turf in several areas of Mexico, including in Juárez, where firearms were used in most of estimated 11,000 homicides that police reported between 2007 and the end of November.


This is a breakdown of total firearms recovered in Mexico and traced by ATF, and the number of weapons of unknown origin:

  • 2011: 20,335, U.S.; 14,504, unknown.
  • 2010: 8,338, U.S.; 6,404, unknown.
  • 2009: 21,555, U.S.; 14,376, unknown.
  • 2008: 32,111, U.S.; 21,035, unknown.
  • 2007: 17,352, U.S.; 11,842, unknown.  

  • The "ATF Mexico" report does not include information on which, or if any, of the reported firearm recoveries were traced to the agency's Operation Fast and Furious, in which federal agents allowed guns purchased by straw buyers in the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico in an attempt to identify and arrest high-level arms traffickers.


    More than 1,000 of the 2,000 weapons connected to the Phoenix-based operation are unaccounted for, according to U.S. lawmakers, who investigated the botched ATF operation that began in late 2009.

    The ATF shut down Fast and Furious after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was fatally shot Dec. 14, 2010, in Arizona near the Mexican border. A rifle connected to the ATF operation was found in the vicinity of Terry's body.

    Some of the weapons attributed to Operation Fast and Furious were smuggled across the border through El Paso, and they were found by Mexican law enforcement officers at crime scenes in Juárez and other places in the state of Chihuahua.

    Recently, new allegations threaten the ATF with another scandal, prompting a U.S. senator to request an investigation.

    U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, who had initiated an investigation into Fast and Furious, said in a Dec. 19 letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz that a former ATF official assigned to Phoenix might have purchased a gun that Mexican officials allegedly found at the scene of a November shootout between drug cartel operatives and Mexican soldiers in Sinaloa, Mexico.

    Grassley's letter said the area of the shootout reported by Mexican officials appears to coincide with a firefight that killed several people in the same area.

    "The gunfight claimed five lives, including a member of the Mexican military and a Sinaloa beauty queen, Maria Susana Flores Gamez," Grassley's letter said. His letter also said that the weapon allegedly obtained by the ATF official was purchased Jan. 7, 2010, but Grassley had no information on how it ended up in Mexico.

    "This information's implications and its ability to undermine public confidence in the integrity of ATF operations cannot be overstated," Grassley's letter said. "Your (Horowitz's) office needs to work swiftly. There must be a thorough, independent, and public explanation of these circumstances as quickly as possible."

    No one was available for comment late Wednesday at the ATF offices in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

    The ATF also reported statistics for firearm recoveries and tracings in the United States, including Texas.

    Between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011, the ATF traced 15,058 firearm recoveries to Texas. The ATF said most of the tracings are for weapons found by U.S. law enforcement officers at crime scenes in Texas and in other states, but traced back to Texas sources.

    The top three recovery cities in Texas were Houston, with 3,034 firearm recoveries; Dallas, with 2,463; and Corpus Christi, with 502. ATF figures for El Paso recoveries were not available.

    "We use the ATF's tracing resources to investigate gun ownership, periodically, on a case-by-case basis," said Mike Baranyay, a detective with the El Paso Police Department. "Our investigators can also check whether a weapon is stolen through the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) system."

    The ATF's National Tracing Center conducted 319,000 firearms tracings in 2011.

    Tracing figures for 2012 will not be available until mid-2013 or later.



    35 comments:

    1. So that is around 80,000 guns that the bad guys have they the USE to do bad things, and that no ban, restrictions, registration or confiscation would have any influence on. Face it, the bad guys are armed to the teeth, but the %99 of us who are legal and obey the law are the ones who they want to punish. Obama's kids have 11 armed guards at their school and most of the Hollywood and politicians who are crying to ban guns live in gated communities (with armed guards) and have armed bodyguards. If fully automate weapons are good enough to protect some of their kids, why can't I use a semi automatic to protect mine? No gun ban has EVER stopped gun violence. Australia has seen a steep rise in violent crime since they banned guns. Hell, look at Mexico. Besides the fact that "The RIght To Bare Arms" is in The Constitution, banning guns leads to bad guys having their way with law abiding people who become easy prey. That second amendment is for one thing, and that is so the people can protect themselves FROM the government. Look at all the bad regimes in the world, and they all started with disarming the population. Germany, Cambodia, Vietnam, Turkey, Uganda, Mexico, Iran…. Millions, yes MILLIONS have died by the hands of those who were supposed to have their best interests. Tyranny is when a government is unstoppable, and even Thomas Jefferson (and others) made damn sure that in the US, the people will be the ones with the power. And for the government to dictate what guns we can't and can have is like them telling us you can be Mormon, but not Catholic. California, Chicago, New York, these are the places with the strictest gun laws in the country yet they more gun crimes happen in these places than all of the country combined. The laws are there, they just need to enforce the damn things. I'm a person who owns multiple guns including AR-15's, and as a family we enjoy shooting at the range. We lock up the guns and the kids all go to gun safety classes. They are to be respected for what they are, a tool that can cause harm, but they are just a tool. More kids die in swimming pool accidents, but where is a ban on them? When the NRA says we should have armed cops at schools they are called crazy, but when Bill Clinton said the exact same thing after Columbine, he was a hero. Hypocrisy. Hell, Dian Feinstein has a concealed carry permit! Speaking of Columbine, did you know that happened DURING Clintons ban on assault weapons (they are just a gun like the rest, but because they look scary and people don't take 5 min to learn about them they are called assault weapons)!? My 10 year old, my mother in law, my old mom, and my wife all shoot AR-15's. It's the funnest gun ever! But you know what, my deer hunting rifle would kick it's ass in a fight! The guns are out there. Millions of them. And the bad guys have the best of the best and no law will EVER ban them from having them or even getting them. So in what warped world does common sense tell you to disarm the good guys so the bad guys can have free reign? My guns are my right and my protection from the evils of this world. My front door is not just a protection for my sleeping family, but a protection from any idiot who thinks coming inside uninvited will pay off. Gun laws are actually quite strict, but they don't even bother looking into mental health issues, and shootings like this horrible one a few weeks ago, are an anomaly. Rare, almost non existent. On the list of dangers for our kids, a school massacre is at the very bottom. And you never hear about the one school shooting where a kid showed up with guns and tons of bullets, but was stopped by an armed principal. Yes, that really happened. Look it up.

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      1. You're right on everything. If cartels didn't get guns from the u.s they can get them from the mx gov, and basically any other country in latin America. Im sure they would have no problem contacting Russians or FARC rebels. There's a blame game going on, and everyone on all sides taking part.

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    2. Sorry but I call BS.
      There is a difference between the "weapons recovered at Mexican scenes" and those submitted to the ATF for tracking. Unless the ATF can prove that all weapons recovered were submitted, they are being intentionally deceptive. Also, "weapons" would include grenades and RPGs which were certainly not bought legally in the US.
      Who would trust the ATF?

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    3. This article is very misleading. It just demonstrates the current quality of journalism in our nation of misinformed populace.

      Saludos
      Mitcho

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    4. Idiotic article. Same as the 90% gun myth from a couple years ago. A more accurate title would be 68% of guns SUBMITTED BY MEXICAN OFFICIALS traced to the US. What is the total number? How many guns were not submitted to the ATF? Why would the honorable mexicans submit a gun to the ATF that obviously came from China or eastern europe. Did they submit military grade guns that the US gov gave the Mexican gov which were stolen by deserters.

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    5. That’s ironic; DHS.gov traces most Illegal Immigrants in the U.S. back to Mexico…go figure.

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    6. and around 90% of drugs found in the USA were either grown or trafficked through Mexico and hand delivered by Mexicans

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      1. Yes! But 95% of this drugs were delivered to and paid in cash by american drug traffickers. And some of the american drug traffickers come all the way south to Michoacan, Jalisco, Sinaloa or Tamaulipas in their private jets or luxurious motor homes posing as well to do businessmen to visit the drug plantation or drug warehouses to choose their product.

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      2. There are a lot of marijuana plantations in California, Oregon, Kentucky, The Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Virginias, but when these plantations are busted by the DEA the US Government will not allow it to make the front pages. Same with cocaine and meth laboratories in the eastern states.

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    7. "and around 90% of drugs found in the USA were either grown or trafficked through Mexico and hand delivered by Mexicans"
      Exactly,we can play the blame game till we run out of breadth.Its a fuckin childish exercise for jingoistic morons.You piss me off,i piss you off,,,just for the sake of it,,and,,we get nowhere?

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    8. Trafficing guns to mexico has to be the easiest crime ever. I live in san diego and mexico is 20 minutes away. 99% of time there is no one even at the mexican entry booth and when he is you just wave at him. What couldnt you smuggle into mexico. Mexicans buy stuff in san diego all the time to avoid high taxes and so the government doesnt know you have money if you do. From my understanding some of the stuff isnt legal to bring mexico, like appliances, but if they do get stopped they just give the guy a twenty and he lets them pass. Why would guns be any different? My point is if mexico doesnt want guns there then at least have some boarder patrol. I know people who have been solicited by cartel members here in san diego about buying guns. They buy them from gangs and take them mexico themselves most of the time. Mexico does need armed citizens. It is the only answer. You cant un-invent the gun.

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    9. gunwalking is the biggest issue for me, this report came apperantley from the ATF, the same ATF that let guns walk into mexico, the same ATF that should be responsible for the death of ..(border patrol agent here).. insert a name,,,,and for many other deaths to mexican law enforcement officcers and civilians alike.......under i plea the fith (erick holder),

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    10. Why doesn't the Mexican government look for weapons when vehicles enter the country? They do not even pretend to care. I drive to Mexico once a month and there is more interest from US Border Patrol than by the Mexican government when you are driving INTO Mexico.

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    11. I am an american mexican i was born in Washington state and i am proud to say that i am a wepons owner. Me and My AK47 are the protectors of my freedomes, my mom fleed mexico when she was 18 because mexico has no law and people who have guns to defend themselfs are seen as criminals. Mexico was a nice place to visit but unless they inact a law allowing common fok to carry a gun for protection mexico will never be biutiful again! sure at first you will have allot of people dieing as you do with all wars but at the end the comon people would be respected do to the ability to protect them and thair familys

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      1. To be a "American Mexican"as you claim you need to go back to school and learn how to spell, looks like your IQ is so low that the armed forces wouldn't hire you even as a dishwasher. Also you don't know anything about weapons the AK47 is not produced anymore since 1976, the latest model is the AK74. The one you have must be over 30 years old. I'm a Mexican American from TX, former Army Ranger with the 2 Bn 75th Rangers.

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      2. What are you, the grammar nazi? Or are you just being pissy because he considers himself to be an, "American Mexican", putting his American heritage first?

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    12. So for two thousand of the weapons its boo, hiss, I demand an investigation. And for the other sixty five thousand weapons, its yippie, yahoo, attaboy, don't interfere with commerce, dang meddling government.

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    13. If there is any justice Dick Armey and his cartel got their fare share of guns and extortion fees.

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      1. Wtf are you talking about?

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    14. December 27, 2012 2:20 PM

      and 100% of Lazy U.S. crackheads got high!
      EL Cartel, trafficking the stuff Lazy Murricans wont do!

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      1. At least we haven't given up on our country! We still have pride and will not give in to terrorists.

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    15. What a shame like always huh Americans turn a blind eye and look for external faults to blame some one else. The faster you guys aknowledhe Yes America has a problem. Then maybe then we can stop massacres from happening with Guns been dealt under the table. America is in love with dirty money. I do not believe taking guns away is the problem. Because with a good mentality a gun won't fire it self. O thougutb after newtown con masacre, americana Will ser the ir faults. But all I see happening is blames across the board, n the most I have was minimizing the clips.

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    16. Here is an idea for inventors. Make and install a data micro chip in all weapons that can transmit the weapon's location and can prevent the weapon from firing when removed.

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    17. NEWS FLASH: Majority of Mexicans killed by guns in Mexico were killed by other Mexicans.

      They need to start manufacturing guns in Mexico to lower the trend of Mexicans getting killed with guns manufactured elsewhere. When you really don't maufacture guns in your country you'll come up with idiodic titles, like this story.

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    18. So 68% of all weapons found in Mexican crime scenes are traced back to the US huh? Right... right... and exactly who gives a shit about where the fuck the guns come from when the real motherfucking issue is, what percentage of those Mexican crime scenes are in Mexico? Ah, yes... 100. The same place where motherfuckers make each other disappear in acid, where people hang each other from fucking bridges like every day, but not without burning each others balls off, the same place where cops, municipal state and federal have time and time again been proven beyond fucking corrupt and to be partaking in those exact same motherfucking crime scenes. Fuck off, 68%? Why does Mexico allow them into the country in the first goddamn place? No se hagan pendejos, que al cabo a mi no me hacen. Keep blaming your problems on the US, Mexico. Deep down you know the US is the only country in the world who could solve your problem of fucked up corruption that allowed this shit to get so thick in the first place. Mexico has more than its fair share of addicts, the border towns have become human wastelands of addicted trash and if you think only the US has users, Calderon worked his magic on you.

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    19. December 27, 2012 11:25 PM
      Brother,you most definitely make a valid point.Common sense with a basis in fact,but,common sense isn't that common where countries and nationalism are involved.Its a crazy antagonism,we would get so much further if both countries sat down and decided and talked about how to further both countries.Imagine Mexico and the US as a real partnership?The huge labor pool in Mexico for manufacturing,paying US wages,not slave labor wages,not using Mexican labor cheaply,imagine that?I know,total idealistic bullshit.But you can think about it.A new beginning for both,nah,never.

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    20. December 27, 2012 10:27 PM
      Anonymous said...
      "So 68% of all weapons found in Mexican crime scenes are traced back to the US huh? Right..."

      You should learn to read and actually comprehend what you're reading. The article clearly states that the weapons found at the crime scenes have been traced to the ATF's Fast & Furious program, what does that have to do with the location of the crimes? Nobody needs to make you pendejo, you already are by claiming that the thousands murdered died because of their own fault. Only an inbred moron like you can claim that corruption only exists south of the border. Go back to school and get your GED, pendejote!

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    21. more NRA profits.

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    22. DUH! .....And someone makes big bucks to come up with these obvious stats?

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    23. why cant we all just turn in our guns for bows and arrows or sling shots damnit!!!! why?!?!?!?!?!

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    24. NRA profits? The NRA does not manfacture guns, genius - or sell them either.

      Why the hell is anyone surprised that a border porous enough to let tons of coke flow in one direction would not allow thousands of guns in the other direction? What a shocker.

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    25. Look at this shit,F&F guns,is the only thing they want to focus on,precisely because it has something to do with the US.Some of the points here are ludicrous.Guns can be smuggled in from anywhere,it just so happens that it is easier moving them across a silly ass little border,same with dope.But cause it is the US it is hyper publicized?"look we told you so""NRA profits"?Face it,we aint never going to get along with each other,its hatred baby,plain old hatred,never mind the billions of other guns,focus on the F&F ones?It might be funny,but its deep seated and irrational and they comin to a town near you,haha,i don't hate on no-one,i take people as i find them.I don't dig on the lame ass hatin skin color shit like some,anyway you get pricks in every people.

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    26. Would you drive to a 7/11 convenience store on the corner to buy something, or one 40 miles away. America is the closest source to buy these weapons. The Muslim terrorists do not come all the way to the USA to buy their weapons. They buy them from the countries that are closest to them. If the Narco's could not buy them in the USA they would go to the next closest source for these weapons.

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    27. The problem isn't gun in Mexico, or even where those guns comes from. The problem is has the guns. Maybe some day the Mexican people will get sick of being disarmed peasants, arm themselves, and clean house.

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    28. the number of guns recovered/traced spike around 2008

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