More than 1.5 million illegal weapons in circulation in Mexico

Despite SEDENA's works for securing and retrieving weapons through campaigns, there are still 1,679,000 illegal weapons in the country

More than 1.5 million illegal weapons in circulation in Mexico
Seized weapons are displayed to the media by the Mexican Army in Mexico City – Photo: Jorge Dan López/REUTERS
English 16/08/2019 16:21 Misael Zavala/ Enviado Mexico City Actualizada 16:44
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The general secretary of the National Defense Ministry (Sedena), Luis Cresencio Sandoval, revealed that a total 1,679,884 illegal weapons circulate in our country and are in the process of being retrieved.

In a report of legal and illegal weapons in the country, he detailed that in recent years, 2,012,573 weapons have clandestinely entered national territory.

“In these 10 years, the Armed Forces have acquired a total of 18,212 weapons for the fulfillment of different missions, to replace the weaponry we had which is out of service or that need to be substituted for its antiquity.

“If we consider the calculated number of 200,000 weapons per year and the work that has been done in the securing of weapons, and the retrieving through campaigns, there are still 1,679,000 weapons to be under our control,” he said.

From all secured weapons, 70% come from the United States, and 30% from Spain, Italy, Austria, and other countries.
 

“From that 70%, most weapons come from southern states of the U.S.: 41% from Texas; 19% from California; 15% from Arizona, and the other 25% from the rest of the American states,” detailed the officer.

The main identified points in arms trafficking are San Diego-Tijuana, El Paso-Ciudad Juárez, Laredo-Nuevo Laredo, McAllen-Reynosa, and Brownville-Matamoros.

Regarding legal weapons, in the last 10 years, the Armed Forces have acquired 18,112 units; in addition, 450,625 units have been commercialized with state governments, agencies, natural and legal persons.

General Cresencio Sandoval explained that during the current administration, only 7,927 weapons have been purchased, “there is not an indiscriminate sale of weaponry, as said.”

Likewise, there are different kinds of licenses, official and particular, in the case of authorities and natural or legal persons. “The Constitution establishes that inhabitants have the right to own weapons in their homes for safety and self-defense, except for those forbidden and exclusive to the Armed Forces,” he said.

He remembers that, in all cases, a license is needed for the carrying of weapons, which the National Defense issues with prior accreditation requirements in accordance with the law. He said that the regulation also foresees the cancellation of such licenses when weapons are misused.
 

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