Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2012 ‘Country Analyses: Mexico.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America; Section IV, pp. 24-25. Mexico City: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 28 April

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Mexico requires registration of civilian firearms, and numbers are released periodically. But dramatic differences between reported registration numbers make them difficult to fully understand. Reports of Mexican registration totals vary from a low of 1.5 million reported in 2004 to almost 4.5 million in 2005 and a middle figure of 2.8 million in 2010. There is more agreement on estimates of total civilian ownership, registered and unregistered, which several estimates place at roughly 15 million.(73) The latter total is used here, but it has been in use for many years and should not be thought in any way authoritative.

Anecdotal reports indicate that public demand for firearms has risen dramatically with the surge in drug trafficking and organized crime violence. Since regulatory barriers make it hard to satisfy this demand through legal channels, people are searching for guns in illegal markets. Whether they are successful there is very hard to judge (74)…

In Mexico it is widely accepted that most illegal firearms come from the United States. Partial confirmation comes from crime guns seized in Mexico and traced to smuggling across the border with the United States, as confirmed by American investigations.(77) Some observers in the United States reject the conclusion that most crime guns in Mexico come from the north. They maintain that Central America is an important source of supply, especially for light weapons like grenades and machine guns, items unavailable on American retail markets.(78)


73) Kyra Núñez, "Latinoamérica armada hasta los dientes," La Opinión (United States), 3 July 2004, reports 1,494,321 registered but 15 million total. 4,490,000 registered and 10 million unregistered in estimates from "Oxfam: Mexico carece de control efectivo de armas ligeras," El Nuevo Herald, 18 October 2005. 2,824,231 in Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011, Washington, D.C.: Organisation of American States, January 2011.p. 22. 15 million total also appears in Central America and Mexico Gang Assessment. Washington, DC, United States: United States Agency for International Development, 2006, p. 114.

74) John Burnett, "Law-Abiding Mexicans Take Up Illegal Guns", NPR: Weekend Edition, 28 January 2012

77) Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Accountability Office, June 2009.

78) Scott Steward, "Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth", Stratfor, 10 February 2011.

ID: Q11419

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