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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The European Union and the Necessary Fight Against Arms Trafficking to Mexico

"BaptisteGrandGrand" for Borderland Beat

On February 26th, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs announced the launch of the Partner to Partner (P2P) program in association with the European Union (EU). This was done under the Arms Trade Treaty and marked the beginning of a series of trainings and actions to exchange knowledge between Mexico and the EU to prevent arms trafficking.

In the last five years, data provided should that approximately 30% of the weapons smuggled into Mexico come from six European countries. Between 2014 and 2019, authorities seized more than 5,600 from Spain and 4,200 from Italy at the US-Mexico border. In addition, other countries like Romania, Austria, and Germany (all EU member states) were also seized.

Most European-made long arms enter Mexico through the US. If they are smuggled through Mexico, they are introduced via seaports (ports like Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán, Altamira, Tamaulipas, and Manzanillo, Colima).

In the EU, most guns that are seized are shotguns, pistols and rifles. The EU is generally considered to be one of the largest sources of illicit arms exports. It should also be noted that seven out of every ten weapons illegally imported into Mexico from the United States are legally manufactured or imported in the EU. The US is precisely the largest importer of individual weapons from Europe.

Number of arms seized in Central American countries, at sub-national level, 2017

For many years, the Europol – the unified European police – did not have a cohesive strategy to deal with arms trafficking the Americas. However, in recent years, the situation has been changing; in Europe there have been multiple forums to increase awareness and cooperation with Latin American countries. The Europol held a meeting with Mexican authorities in 2016 to discuss this issue, and in 2020 they included Central America to the conversation.

The EU created the Europe Latin America Technical Assistance Programme against Transnational Organized Crime (ELPAcCTO), a "program of assistance between the EU and Latin America" that brings together 18 countries to discuss how to address international organized crime activity. This program addresses, among other things, the issue of arms trafficking.

In addition, several Latin American countries are pushing for the creation of the Latin American Committee for Internal Security (CLASI), modelled after the EU’s Committee for Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI). This would strengthen AMERIPOL's capability to address arms smuggling at Latin American borders.

Transnational firearms trafficking flows affecting Northern and Central America (as defined by routes of seized firearms), 2016-17

The AMERIPOL, founded in 2007, is a police cooperation organization of the Americas, of which the former Mexican Federal Police was once a member. Other possibilities, such as strengthening the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (EU-CELAC) relations, could also help Latin America address arms trafficking at a larger scale.

Last July, the EU issued a list of "priorities" to reduce arms trafficking by 2025. One of them was to ensure that all EU member countries report cases of stolen or lost weapons to the Schengen Information System, a database used in several countries for police investigations and immigration control.

Other priorities include more cooperation with the Interpol, higher monitoring of weapon sales on the dark web and in parcel deliveries, addressing differences in legislation between EU members, and more proactiveness from EU members in Eastern Europe, especially between their custom agencies. 

Sources: Gobierno de Mexico (1); (2)Infobae; InSight Crime; EU Action Plan 2020/2025; EU-CELAC; ElPAcCTO; Revista Digital (1); (2)EPRS; Journal of Economic Geography


  1. The Merchants of Death will not have any of it. Wars are beneficial & have been for centuries.

  2. This cartels make european criminals looks like barbies!

    1. 1259 the cartels are still in the beginning of life. Are you from Europe? Pretty sure you speak from ignorance. The Europeans wrote the book on slaughtering people, the Spanish wrote the book on slavery...

  3. Russia is a big producer too. They are not part of the EU but they are still within Europe. During the Cold War they mass produced millions of weapons that were never used. Many of them are in the black market now, especially in Eastern Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia like India, Pakistan, Iraq, etc.

    1. Glory to Mamma Russia!

    2. 1:09 the NRA would not take weapons from Russia, but they sure took 30 million dollars to promote weapons for Mexico and for russia that won't have any of that BS...
      The money went to travel and rent for lovers and luxurious suits of clothing for the president of the NRA and other mafiosos.

  4. Borders in Eastern Europe don’t care. That’s where the EU has to fix first...

  5. So I thought Americans are fault. Fast Furious that was a Obama deal. Republicans did do damn thing about

    1. 7:20 it was a republican deal when it started as "Operation Wide Receiver"

  6. A cornerstone is set for those who bloodlet European, Asia, Americas, and are sent, who in the bent stretch enough for the mint of just seeing cinch, cause in'uh pinch, we qualify that two fingers only set bench, cause we quench two mouths all in salute to just mince.


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