Should the United States do more to cut firearms smuggling into Mexico?

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November 7, 2012 by rosaf15

Over the past six years the violent drug war in Mexico has taken at least 50,000 Mexican lives (1). The number of lives being lost has soared ever since Felipe Calderon (Mexico’s current president) enforced “a military-style offensive [to] kill or capture the leaders of Mexico’s drug cartels” (1). Essentially, Calderon has declared a war against organized crime, why trying to end the complicated and long history of collusion between drug cartels and security forces. Despite Calderon’s military-style assaults against violent drug cartel, Mexico’s major cartels are still producing, smuggling, and selling “marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other narcotics, bringing in from $4.7 billion to $29 billion a year” (1). Many argue that the United States can be blamed for the violent war because many “American drug users provide most of the cartel’s revenue, and American gun dealers supply many of their firearms” (1).  And this is mainly why many people argue that the United States should intervene and help reduce the smuggling of firearms into Mexico, in an effort to ease the violence in Mexico.

According to Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democratic Senator of New Mexico, “To reduce violence in the region and disrupt the drug trade, the United States must work aggressively to prevent drug trafficking organizations from smuggling weapons across the border”(2). Bingaman argues that since American weapons are being used by drug lords to kill innocent civilians and to assassinate military and police officials, it is up to the United States to help Mexico and dedicate more funding to help trace the sources of the weapons seized in Mexico. Also, Bingaman states that about 90 percent of firearms recovered in Mexico came from the United States, most of which were high powered weapons, since these weapons are hard to acquire in Mexico people are turning to purchasing weapons in America. The senator expressively argues that “If we’re ever going to end drug-related border violence, it is essential for the United States to help stop the flow of weapons being trafficked into Mexico” (2).

On the other hand, Allan Wall (An American teacher living in Mexico) argues that if Mexico wants to eradicate these should drug cartels; they should go after their funding which are covered by business. But according to Wall, Mexico doesn’t take this approach because it doesn’t want to go after the corrupt cops or security officials. Nonetheless, Wall argues that if Mexico wants to stop the smuggling of weapons, it should have stricter border policies and get rid of the officials in its federal agencies who are infiltrated by cartels. Wall also argues that America’s high demand for drugs is allowing the drug cartels to grow.

Overall, both Wall and Bingaman argue that Mexico and the United States should come together and agree on a policy that will lower the smuggling of weapons and possibly ease the drug war.


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