…is it true as President Obama said, that “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States?” No, it’s not.
The figure represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials. We can find no hard data on the total number of guns actually “recovered in Mexico,” but U.S. and Mexican officials both say that Mexico recovers more guns than it submits for tracing. Therefore, the percentage of guns “recovered” and traced to U.S. sources necessarily is less than 90 percent.
Furthermore, the 90 percent figure is based on a badly biased sample of all Mexican crime guns. Law enforcement officials say Mexico asks the U.S. to trace only those guns with serial numbers or other markings that indicate they are likely to have come though the U.S.
The real question is, what percentage of the Mexican drug cartels weapons come via
- Central America
- South Korea’s explosives manufacturers
- the international armaments trade
and, what part will the Russian machine gun factory in Venezuela, which is expected to produce 150,000 machine guns by next year (far outstripping demand from Venezuela’s military, which has 80,000 personnel) play in the drug wars.