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Stohl, Rachel and Doug Tuttle. 2014 ‘The Small Arms Trade in Latin America [Smuggling].’ North American Congress on Latin America, Reporting on the Americas. New York NY: North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA). 13 October

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The region is a smuggler's paradise: A vast coastline, densely forested mountains, porous borders, clandestine airstrips, widespread government corruption, a lack governmental resources and political will to confront the trade, and entrenched and powerful narco-traffickers—all have contributed to the unregulated flow of weapons, drugs, and people.

The triborder area of Paraguay, Brazil, and ­Argentina has become a particularly lucrative cross-­border smuggling region. Smuggled goods in this area, including weapons and narcotics, are valued between $2 billion and $3 billion annually.(11)

Hezbollah runs much of the area's smuggling activities, using profits to support activities in the western hemisphere and the Middle East…(12)

The U.S.-Mexican border is also a central route through which illicit small arms enter Latin America. A study released by the Mexican government suggests that as many as 2,000 guns are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border daily. As in Colombia, these guns are fueling an arms race, in this case between Mexican drug cartels, costing the lives of 4,000 people in 18 months.(14)

Weapons, including assault rifles like AK-47s, AR-15s, and M-16s, fetch up to three times their U.S. market value in Mexico, assuring a continued southward flow of weapons…

Sources cited:

11) Pablo Gato and Robert Windrem, "Hezbollah Build a Western Base," MSNBC, May 9, 2007,
12) Ibid.
14) Manuel Roig-Franzia, "U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico," The Washington Post, October 29, 2007.

ID: Q11851

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