April 3, 2009

SOME OF US HAVE BEEN NOTING THIS FOR A WHILE: The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S. “While 90 percent of the guns traced to the U.S. actually originated in the United States, the percent traced to the U.S. is only about 17 percent of the total number of guns reaching Mexico.” Gee, most guns traced to the United States come from the United States. Now there’s a meaningful statistic. I thought the Obama Administration was going to fearlessly follow science without distortion.

Well, okay, I never actually thought that, but a lot of people did claim that. But wait, there’s more:

So, if not from the U.S., where do they come from? There are a variety of sources:

– 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.

So when you hear the Mexican Gun Canard, bear in mind that it’s a lie, told by people who want to manipulate American politics with a phony foreign connection.