US privately admits that real weapon problem in Mexico is from Central American armies
The most fearsome weapons wielded by Mexico’s drug cartels enter the country from Central America, not the United States, according to U.S. diplomatic cables disseminated by WikiLeaks and published on Tuesday by La Jornada newspaper.
Items such as grenades and rocket-launchers are stolen from Central American armies and smuggled into Mexico via neighboring Guatemala, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reported to Washington.
The assertions appear in embassy cables written after three bilateral conferences on arms trafficking that took place between March 2009 and January 2010 in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Phoenix; and Tapachula, Mexico, respectively.
The cables’ authors note that Mexican officials and politicians never hesitate to remind U.S. diplomats that Mexico’s drug war – which has claimed 35,000 lives in the last four years – is fueled by Americans’ demand for illegal drugs and by guns bought in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Yet one of the cables maintains that 90 percent of the heavy armament Mexican security forces seize from cartel gunmen comes from Central America. . . .
The LA Times has this article from March 15th:
It was a brazen assault, not just because it targeted the city's police station, but for the choice of weapon: grenades.
The Feb. 21 attack on police headquarters in coastal Zihuatanejo, which injured four people, fit a disturbing trend of Mexico's drug wars. Traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their arsenals.
Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semiauto- matic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The proliferation of heavier armaments points to a menacing new stage in the Mexican government's 2-year-old war against drug organizations, which are evolving into a more militarized force prepared to take on Mexican army troops, deployed by the thousands, as well as to attack each other.
These groups appear to be taking advantage of a robust global black market and porous borders, especially between Mexico and Guatemala. Some of the weapons are left over from the wars that the United States helped fight in Central America, U.S. officials said. . . .
There are even more ominous developments: Authorities reported three thefts of several hundred pounds of blasting material from industrial explosives plants in Durango during a four-day period last month. Authorities believe the material may have been destined for car bombs or remotely detonated roadside devices, which have been used with devastating effect in Iraq, killing more than 1,822 members of U.S.-led forces since the war there began nearly six years ago. . . .