Mexican Drug Lords' Guns Traced to US

Smuggling's a cinch as officials look to immigration, drugs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 10, 2008 7:00 AM CDT
An ambulance carries the bodies of police officers killed in Mexico City on June 26. Gunmen killed a policeman and his bodyguard in the latest attack against authorities waging battling drug cartels.    (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – Thousands of powerful automatic weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico have been traced back to US shops, and little is being done to curb the guns’ flow southward, the Los Angeles Times reports. More than 90% of guns taken at the border and picked up after clashes come from the US; last year, 2,455 traced weapons originated here.

Drug violence has killed some 4,000 in Mexico in the last 18 months. But US officials have concentrated much more on illegal immigrants and drugs entering the country than on weapons leaving it, and resources for fighting the problem are few. “One major case can soak up my entire office. And we have major cases all the time,” says a US firearms supervisor.