Bono and the guns

Arthur Chrenkoff sets Bono straight,
Dear Bono: Get Your Facts Straight
At a concert in Mexico City, Bono repeats the “90% lie” about U.S. gun shops selling to cartels

The drug-fueled violence and lawlessness in Mexico are truly horrible. But that old canard that drugs don’t kill Mexicans, American guns kill Mexicans, was a bit too much for me. Particularly when you say it to tens of thousands of Mexican fans who are likely to treat everything that comes out of your mouth as gospel truth. I made that point in a comment underneath your Facebook post. As of the next day, your post was “liked” by almost 12,000 people, and more than 550 fans commented. To my surprise, I found that even amidst this huge love-fest, six strangers agreed with my sentiment. Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s not about numbers; it’s about the truth.

And unfortunately your numbers, Bono, are wrong.

So, if not from the U.S., where do the guns come from?

– The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.

– Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.

- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.

– Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.

– The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.

– Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of America’s cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.

Prior posts here, including this,
Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth

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