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Mexico and the U.S. launch new operation to halt arms trafficking

A bloody battle took place in Culiacán after security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán, El Chapo's son

Mexico and the U.S. launch new operation to halt arms trafficking
For at least a decade, cartels have bought weapons from the U.S. - Photo: Jorge Dan López/REUTERS
English 23/10/2019 12:08 Reuters Mexico City David Alire Garcia Actualizada 12:08
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Mexico deployed special forces to patrol Culiacán, after the Sinaloa cartel launched a bloody operation to free Ovidio Guzmán, “El Chapo” Guzmán’s son, also pushed the U.S. government to halt arms trafficking at the Mexico-U.S. border.

Over 400 soldiers arrived in Culiacán over the weekend after gunmen took control of the city and forced security forces to free the drug lord’s son from a botched arrest attempt on October 17.

Trump agrees to curb arms trafficking to Mexico.

After the shootings and blockades in the northern city, U.S. authorities vowed to curb weapons trafficking to Mexico.

After a telephone call with U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend, Mexican Cabinet ministers met with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau to ask for help in order to stem the flow of weapons bought legally in the United States and sold to Mexican cartels.

“We both agreed to move quickly to share information and deliver specific results,” the U.S. Embassy in Mexico said on Twitter, calling it Operation Frozen. “The commitment made by Mexico and the United States will strengthen capacities to address and reduce one of the causes of violence.”

In a statement, the Mexican government said the United States had promised to implement efforts to clamp down on the illegal trade, which is believed to be the source of most firearms in the hands of Mexican cartels.

Read more about Mexico's bloodiest cartels.

Arms trafficking is a significant problem and one the United States is addressing with a renewed focus in Mexico,” a State Department official said in response to a question from Reuters.

Arms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico

Videos of the attacks in Culiacán showed cartel gunmen firing armor-piercing .50 caliber rifles and at least one truck mounted with a heavy machine gun, weaponry that is not available by legal means in Mexico.

Mexico's Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said that Security Minister Alfonso Durazo met with U.S. ambassador Christopher Landau and his team to discuss “Frozen,” an operation to curb arms trafficking.

Ambassador Landau emphasized that many agencies are involved in the new operation and that there will be more cooperation to halt arms trafficking in the border.

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