A recent investigation conducted by CBS Reports has uncovered that American citizens are assisting Mexican drug cartels by purchasing military-grade weaponry and subsequently having these arms illicitly transported out of the United States. This has enabled the cartels to accumulate an extensive stockpile of firearms.
CBS Reports managed to interview numerous current and former government officials, as well as acquire intelligence documents from the U.S. government. These documents shed light on the magnitude of the issue and the government’s inaction in addressing it. The information procured by CBS Reports suggests that as many as one million firearms, with a combined value exceeding half a billion dollars, are clandestinely smuggled into Mexico annually. These weapons include high-powered arms such as grenade launchers.
Despite the U.S. government’s five-decade-long struggle to combat drug traffickers operating along the southern border, it has mostly found itself on the losing side of this ongoing conflict. American citizens have played a pivotal role in this by facilitating the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of firearms into the hands of these cartels, which are now engaged in the trafficking of lethal substances such as fentanyl into the United States.
Equipped with such significant firepower, these cartels have effectively countered both the Mexican and American authorities, rendering all efforts to thwart their illegal drug smuggling operations futile.
Christopher Landau, a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, expressed the view that if the United States relies on Mexican law enforcement for assistance in combating the cartels, their efforts are destined for failure. He characterized this as a significant bipartisan shortcoming within our government that has persisted for many decades.
When questioned about this issue, a representative from the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledged the problem of most firearms in the possession of the cartels originating from U.S. purchasers. However, they did not provide details regarding whether or how the Justice Department intends to address this matter.
As per information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), nearly 70% of firearms recovered in Mexico have been traced back to buyers in the United States. According to the Mexican government, this figure is even higher, approaching 90%.