U.S. Embassy Cables: 90 Percent of Mexican Drug Cartels' Most Lethal Weapons Come From Central America--Not USA

Friday, April 01, 2011
By Edwin Mora

(CNSNews.com) -- The most lethal weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico are smuggled from Central America, not from the United States, according to U.S. Embassy cables unveiled by WikiLeaks, reported La Jornada, a leading newspaper in Mexico City.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reportedly wrote the cables following three bilateral conferences on firearms trafficking that took place in Mexico between March 2009 and January 2010.

The cables from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to the State Department in Washington, D.C., reported that lethal weapons, including anti-tank firearms and grenades, were stolen from military forces in Central America and then smuggled into Mexico through the Guatemala border, reported La Jornada on Mar. 29.

That information was in turn provided to officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosive (ATF ) component of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The cables noted a trend that was not detected between 2008 and 2009--that demand by drug trafficking organizations in Mexico for more firepower was increasing.

Drug cartels are increasingly demanding military-style arms such as grenades and light anti-tank weapons, in addition to guns that penetrate bullet-proof vests known as “cop killers” in Mexico, according to one cable.

Among the high-powered artillery that Mexican authorities were able to confiscate from drug cartels, 90 percent came from arsenals of armies in Central America, stated the the U.S. Embassy.