World: Made in America. Dead in Mexico. The massacre of a family this week highlights 'grave problem' of gun smuggling - - PressFrom - US
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World Made in America. Dead in Mexico. The massacre of a family this week highlights 'grave problem' of gun smuggling

16:05  08 november  2019
16:05  08 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

At least five dead, including infants, following attack in Mexico

  At least five dead, including infants, following attack in Mexico At least five dead, including infants, following attack in MexicoMexican media reported that the victims belonged to the LeBaron family, associated with a break-away Mormon community that settled in northern Mexico decades ago, and that the dead as well as additional missing family members may all be U.S. citizens.

Made in America . Dead in Mexico . The massacre of a family this week highlights ' grave problem ' of gun smuggling . Dennis Wagner. Like a rifle shot echoing in a canyon, the slaughter of nine women and children this week by suspected cartel members in Mexico has reemphasized the lethal

" This is a grave problem we have in the country, the smuggling of arms, particularly from the U.S.," Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said in an update Relatives of slain members of Mexican - American families belonging to Mormon communities visit the burnt wreckage of a Chevrolet Tahoe where five

Like a rifle shot echoing in a canyon, the slaughter of nine women and children this week by suspected cartel members in Mexico has reemphasized the lethal role of U.S.-manufactured firearms in narco violence south of the border.

The members of the LeBaron family — three women and six children — were gunned down as they traveled along a rural road between Sonora and Chihuahua. The killings occurred in a nation that has set homicide records the past two years, and is on course to to do it again in 2019.

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At least nine members of an American family , including six children, were killed in an attack in northern Mexico on Monday, the Mexican military has confirmed. The family was ambushed by an armed group while traveling from the town of Bavispe in Sonora state to Galeana in Chihuahua state

Child survivors of massacred family spent 10 hours hiding in Mexican hills. “The Chihuahua side is trying to move in because this is a huge smuggling route through here.” Despite the harsh surroundings, families in Mexico ’s Mormon colonies have prospered over the years.

President Donald Trump, within hours of the attack, put out a tweet calling on Mexico "to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth."

The bullet-riddled windshield of one of the vehicles ambushed in Monday's deadly family ambush in northern Mexico. © Christian Chavez, AP The bullet-riddled windshield of one of the vehicles ambushed in Monday's deadly family ambush in northern Mexico.

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Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel López Obrador balked, saying bellicose tactics produced the bloodshed that now terrorizes his nation. In a report updated last month, the Council on Foreign Relations summarized that point:  

"The country has seen over 300,000 homicides since anti-drug campaigns began in 2006. In 2018, homicides, many linked to drug cartels, hit a new high of almost 36,000. This trend continued in 2019, with about 90 murders daily."

What Trump Didn’t Say About the Massacre in Mexico

  What Trump Didn’t Say About the Massacre in Mexico MEXICO CITY — The seven-month-old baby Faith Marie Johnson survived hours without food and water in a bullet-ridden SUV in northern Mexico until her family members arrived. She had miraculously escaped the bullets flying around her. Her mother was among the three women and six children killed on Monday when gunmen ambushed their cars after they left a nearby Mormon community. Five other children survived being shot in the back, jaw, leg, wrist and chest. Those killed were all American citizens. The attack has sparked outrage from Mexico to Utah to the White House and focused American attention once again on violence south of the border.

Mexican prosecutors blamed cartels fighting a turf war over the lucrative routes smuggling drugs to Americans for the massacre . Of course, the sources of Mexico ’s crime problem are complex. And the government here has work to do, too, including making greater efforts to fight the corruption and

Early this week , a man witnessed a horrific scene in rural northern Mexico : a scorched, bullet-ridden vehicle that had been carrying his family members. Ever since, the family has spoken out about the need for looser gun laws. A Mormon Family Was Brutally Murdered in Mexico . What Happened?

Back at the crime scene, in a tiny outback municipality known as Bavispe, police quickly gathered and counted American-made rifle cartridges. 

Gen. Homero Mendoza Ruiz, the nation's defense secretary, told reporters the 200 shell casings were from .223 caliber rounds produced by Remington, a U.S. manufacturer.

“These caliber bullets are used in M-16 and AR-15 rifles,” he said.

Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s minister of security, announced that a bi-national committee of representatives from the U.S. and Mexico has been created to control the trafficking of guns.

“This is a grave problem we have in the our country because trafficking of guns, particularly from the United States, is what has elevated the firepower of criminal groups," Durazo said.

The southward flow of firearms (and money) across the border — going in the opposite direction of pot, cocaine, heroin and meth — is a decades-old dilemma with no known solution. 

Mexico makes arrests in massacre of American women, children: minister

  Mexico makes arrests in massacre of American women, children: minister Mexico makes arrests in massacre of American women, children: minister"There have been arrests, but it's not up to us to give information," Durazo told reporters in Mexico City.

Mormon massacre : Three American mothers and at least six of their children are EXECUTED by drug cartel gunmen in Mexico on the way to a wedding At least three American mothers and six children from a Mormon family were killed in a shooting in the Mexican border state of Sonora on Monday in

LeBarón family relatives say nine victims, mainly children, dead in The burnt wreckage of a vehicle in northern Mexico that had been carrying members of the He said one of the children said their mother had been gunned down after she got out of the car screaming at the attackers to stop shooting.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, of 132,823 guns recovered from Mexican criminals from 2009 to 2018, about 70% were traced to U.S. origins. 

The trafficking of firearms is a 'go-to issue' for US and Mexican officials

No one knows how many guns make it to Mexico annually. Researchers at the University of San Diego estimate more than 750,000 were smuggled from the United States — the world's largest firearm manufacturer — between 2010 and 2012.

The study concluded that nearly half of U.S. gun dealers are to some extent dependent on sales that ultimately lead to Mexico, and authorities "are seizing a comparatively small number of firearms at the border" — about 15 percent.

David Shirk, director of the university's Transborder Institute and a co-author of that study, said firearms trafficking becomes "a go-to issue" for U.S. and Mexican officials "whenever they don't have an answer to the violence."

He noted that, just three weeks ago, Trump and López Obrador announced a new initiative to stop guns at the border. That accord came days after Mexican authorities arrested Ovidio Guzmán, the son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who is serving a lifetime prison sentence.

Mexico's security strategy called into question after Mormon killings and other violence

  Mexico's security strategy called into question after Mormon killings and other violence After three women and six children were slaughtered on a remote dirt road in Mexico, relatives and members of their small religious community stood around the smoldering carnage for hours before local authorities arrived. © CNN CNN's Matt Rivers visits the site where a family of Mormons were massacred in Mexico. The horrific broad-daylight crime stunned even a country long ravaged by drug violence and on pace for a record high number of homicides this year. A convoy carrying women and children -- dual US-Mexican citizens -- ambushed and sprayed with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Correspondent covering Mexico and Central America . MEXICO CITY — Assailants killed at least nine members of a fundamentalist Mormon community in Northern Mexico , authorities said The victims were part of a community of U.S.- Mexican dual citizens who have lived in Mexico for decades.

BAVISPE, Mexico - A suspect has been arrested in the massacre of nine family members from a Mormon community on the Mexican side of the border with the United States, Mexican authorities said Tuesday. The Ministerial Agency for Criminal Investigations (AMIC)

After the younger Guzmán's capture, cartel members went on a rampage, outgunning Mexican security forces as they seized control of Culiacan, the Sinaloa capital. Within hours, López Obrador ordered police to stand down and release the prisoner.

a truck is parked on the side of a road: A handout photo made available by El Debate de Sinaloa shows clashes between armed groups and federal forces, in Culiacan, Mexico, 17 October 2019 during an attempt to capture a son of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. © Luis Gerardo Magana/ El Debate de Sinaloa/EPA-EFE A handout photo made available by El Debate de Sinaloa shows clashes between armed groups and federal forces, in Culiacan, Mexico, 17 October 2019 during an attempt to capture a son of convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Last week, Shirk said, he crisscrossed the border into Tijuana several times to see how the new gun-stopping measures — random vehicle checks and the use of laser-scanners — are working.

Traffic was a bit more clogged, he said. A couple times, U.S. and Mexican border officers gave him cursory looks. "But they didn't stop me, Approximately two seconds, and they waved me on. They didn't search."

Shirk noted there have been past efforts to stem the flow of southbound firearms, with few seizures, and the new initiative does not seem to be faring better. "If they were successful at it, they'd be bragging about it. And they're not."

In fact, during the Obama administration, agents for a time did exactly the opposite: They let guns "walk" into Mexico after watching illegal purchases. More on that in a bit.

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) ― Gunmen have killed up to nine members of a U.S. Mormon family , believed to be mainly children, in the latest massacre to A video posted on social media showed the charred and smoking remains of a vehicle riddled with bullet holes that was apparently carrying the

While not associating the dead Americans with a “sex-cult,” the New York Times also got heavily into the business of making the Mormon families sound The brutal killing of nine members of a family in northern Mexico on Monday highlights the long history of American religious settlers in the region.

'Operation Fast and Furious' futility

Last year, Mexico saw 20,005 gun homicides — nearly seven times as many as in 2003, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

Which is curious, because Mexican law does not allow gun possession without a permit.

In fact, the Times noted, there is only one gun store in the country, located on a military base, and the licensing process is so stringent that it sold just 15,75 weapons last year.

So, how is it that firearms are ubiquitous in Mexico?

The border gun-smuggling business is a multi-million-dollar enterprise, and a multi-faceted business.

Often, weapons are acquired in the United States via private-party transactions or at gun shows. Such sales are unregulated, so there is no record of the buyer, seller or firearm. And, until recently, traffickers could simply drive them across the border with little concern about getting caught.

The use of straw buyers also is common. Individuals with clean records are hired to purchase weapons from licensed firearm dealers — often gun stores — who are required to maintain records. The straw buyers turn those weapons over to cartel-related smugglers, collecting a fee.

Beginning in 2009, the ATF in Arizona launched a plan known as Operation Fast and Furious with a purported goal of following illegally purchased weapons to Mexico and catching kingpins. Instead, however, about 2,000 firearms bought at metro Phoenix stores were allowed to cross the border, where they disappeared.

ATF whistleblowers exposed the program, leading to congressional investigations, a criminal contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder and termination of high-ranking Justice Department officials.

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The LeBaron family had a history of conflict with Mexican drug cartels, which indicates that they may have been targeted, former Mexican Foreign In a news conference earlier Tuesday, Mexican Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the attack may have been a case of mistaken identity of

'Who wants to be the hero cop?'

Meanwhile, guns from Fast and Furious began popping up at shooting scenes all over Mexico. Most notoriously, one of the weapons was used in the 2010 ambush murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in southern Arizona.

The ensuing furor led to renewed talk of stanching the river of guns into Mexico, but Shirk said efforts have been largely futile. A real solution, he said, would involve regulation of firearm sales, but the U.S. political climate won't allow it.

Meanwhile, U.S. government may contribute to the problem in another way. An audit by the State Department's inspector general this year found that the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls repeatedly fell short in regulating firearm exports.

The directorate approved 21 gun export license applications in 2017-18 — even though 20 of them lacked required information. Moreover, the agency failed to notify Congress of 17 large transactions as required by law.

According to The Intercept, the United States exported about $123 million worth of firearms and ammunition to Mexico from 2015-17, apparently for military use. The publication added, “Legally exported US firearms have been used in massacres, disappearances, and by security forces that collude with criminal groups in Mexico on a broad scale,” according to the Intercept report.

Shirk said the gun dilemma is compounded in Mexico by a "lack of capacity and integrity" among the nation's police, prosecutors and security forces. 

About 5% of all homicides in Mexico result in arrests and convictions. The rest of the perpetrators get away with murder, in part due to law enforcement corruption or fears, and because witnesses are too terrified to testify.

Referring to the massacre in Sonora, Shirk said, "There is, I think, no hope of bringing the perpetrators of this crime to justice in Mexico. Not just this crime, but any crime …

Nearly $400M worth of cocaine and marijuana intercepted by US Coast Guard

  Nearly $400M worth of cocaine and marijuana intercepted by US Coast Guard The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it seized nearly $367 million of cocaine and about 11,000 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million at a Florida port."The Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew is scheduled to offload approximately 28,000 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $367 million and approximately 11,000 pounds of seized marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million at Port Everglades," according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Nine members of an American family , including six children, were killed in northern Mexico on Monday. WATCH Arrest made after deadly ambush that killed US family in Mexico . The family was traveling in a small convoy of three vehicles between the states of Sonora and Chihuahua when

"Who wants to be the hero cop when they know there's a high probability they're going to die?"

Contributing: Daniel Gonzalez, Arizona Republic.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Made in America. Dead in Mexico. The massacre of a family this week highlights 'grave problem' of gun smuggling

Nearly $400M worth of cocaine and marijuana intercepted by US Coast Guard .
The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it seized nearly $367 million of cocaine and about 11,000 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million at a Florida port."The Coast Guard Cutter James (WMSL-754) crew is scheduled to offload approximately 28,000 pounds of seized cocaine worth an estimated $367 million and approximately 11,000 pounds of seized marijuana worth an estimated $10.1 million at Port Everglades," according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

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