Weapons sales to Mexico (courtesy borderlandbeat.com)

Mexico has purchased more than $1.15 billion in military equipment from the United States over the past 12 months. As the following article [via borderlandbeat.com] reports, “These sales do not include guns and ammunition. In 2014, the U.S. legally transferred more than 28,000 firearms to Mexico, most of them military rifles, at a value of $21.6 million. The year saw the most firearms sales in dollars of the 15 years that the U.S. Census Bureau has kept data.” Accountability? You must be joking. In fact, over the last ten years . . .

thousands of U.S.-made rifles have “seeped” from the Mexican military to the drug cartels. More than 55k military-trained personnel defected to the cartels. Thousands more fully-automatic firearms simply went walkies from military and police arsenals.

Not to mention the fact that the Mexican drug cartels have billions of dollars to spend on the tens of thousands of guns that the U.S. has sold or “donated” to South American countries over the last few decades. Or guns imported from China, Europe and elsewhere.

When confiscated by the Mexican military, none of these official U.S. sales rifles are submitted to the ATF for trace. Why would they? They’re stamped with the original owner’s ID. Anyway, if just 10 percent of last year’s official U.S. rifle sales end up in cartels hands, a low-ball estimate, that’s 2800 box fresh guns. Remember: the U.S. is hardly the only country selling guns to the Mexican government, which quickly find their way into cartel hands.

The feds would have you believe that Bob’s Gun Store is supplying the Mexican drug cartels with weaponry. The article tries to back that up with a University of San Diego study claiming 250k guns flow from the U.S. to Mexico illegally per year, I call bull. Our criminal neighbors to the South – which includes Mexican police and military – are awash in guns. Anyone who thinks that Uncle Sam isn’t the primary provider, one way or another, is failing to see the forest from the trees. Intentionally.

——–

Mexico has been on a buying spree for U.S. military equipment, especially helicopters and armored vehicles, with purchases amounting to more than a billion dollars in the last 12 months. U.S. Northern Command chief Admiral William Gortney said the combined deals represent “a 100-fold increase from prior years.” For a military supposedly proud of its independence from the United States, it is a dependent client.

On Tuesday, March 17, the State Department approved the sale of three Blackhawk helicopters to the Mexican military for $110 million, to support Mexican troops engaged in counter-drug operations. The deal comes on the heels of a larger agreement last April for Mexico to buy 18 Blackhawks for $680 million. The helicopters are produced by Sikorsky, based in Connecticut (also supplier to Colombia and other countries), and General Electric, in Lynn, MA. The deals include training and the construction of a facility. The United States will also reportedly supply six M134 7.62mm machine guns for the helicopters, which fire up to 6,000 rounds a minute.

Last May, Washington approved a sale of more than 3,000 Humvees for the Mexican military, at a cost of $556 million, in order to expand “existing army architecture to combat drug trafficking organizations” and enhance “interoperability between Mexico and the U.S.” The Humvees will be built by AM General in Mishawaka, Indiana. A later report said that in December the Pentagon approved sale of 2,200 of the Humvee vehicles, for just $245 million.

Mexico City police purchased five helicopters from Texas-based Bell last month, for another $26.4 million. The helicopters will be assigned to the Condores, a group of special police. Two weeks later, the Mexican Air Force sealed a deal for 15 Bell helicopters, valued for at least $37 million, to be based at an airbase in Jalisco state.

In January, the Pentagon said that the Mexican Navy, too, is buying Blackhawks – five of them, for $56 million. Last September, the Navy also announced the purchase of four King Air 350ER aircraft, to be used for “maritime surveillance of strategic installations, light transport, and medical evacuation.” The aircraft are built by Beechcraft Corporation, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, which sold another four aircraft to the Mexican Navy in 2013.

Until 2014, arms sales to Mexico were mostly commercial sales. But in the last 12 months, deals through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales program have shot up to more than $1 billion. (Defense Security Cooperation Agency)

All told, these agreements represent at least $1.15 billion in arms sales to the Mexican military or police in the last year, mostly facilitated by the Pentagon through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. FMS sales frequently come at a discount, and are not subject to human rights restrictions, such as the Leahy Law.

These sales do not include guns and ammunition. In 2014, the U.S. legally transferred more than 28,000 firearms to Mexico, most of them military rifles, at a value of $21.6 million. The year saw the most firearms sales in dollars of the 15 years that the U.S. Census Bureau has kept data.

Many more weapons crossed the border from the United States illegally. In 2013, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms traced 10,488 firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico back to U.S. manufacturers or sales. A University of San Diego study estimated that a quarter of a million firearms were purchased annually in the United States to be trafficked into Mexico from 2010 to 2012. These numbers dwarf the disastrous “Fast and Furious” program by which ATF allowed hundreds of weapons purchased in Arizona to cross into Mexico in 2009 and 2010.

Mexico also gets military equipment from the United States through direct commercial sales, which are disclosed later. In 2013, the U.S. approved more than a billion dollars in sales of military equipment to Mexico, most of it for “spacecraft systems and associated equipment.” This could include satellites, GPS systems, or ground control stations. It also approved sales of more than 116 million rounds of ammunition and $187 million in “military electronics.”

Mexico began to buy Blackhawks in the 1990s, and already had a fleet of 20 Blackhawks before the buying spree. Sikorsky opened a training center in Queretaro in 2012 to facilitate regional sales and training.

The massive militarization represented by billions of dollars of U.S. arms sales to Mexico as well as illegal gun trafficking is bad news for the many Mexicans devastated by the abuses of police and soldiers, the escalation of firepower when fights between government and non-governmental criminal groups occur, and the weapons that make their way illegally to trafficking organizations. The United States must develop other capacities besides producing guns and military equipment for finding a healthy balance of trade and addressing our own problems.

This month, a caravan is crisscrossing the country with Mexican families and classmates of the 43 students murdered in Guerrero last September by Mexican police in concert with organized crime. The “Ayotzinapa 43” caravan is traveling through California, the Midwest, and East Coast en route to Washington to speak with policymakers. Their visit offers a clear opportunity to those of us living in the United States to show our solidarity and to call for different approaches to violence in Mexico and to drug use in the United States.

51 Responses to 28k U.S. Assault Rifles Headed for Mexican Drug Cartels?

      • They’re 23 and have been selling drugs and guns for the last 10 years of their life. Only one group still considers them ‘children’.

  1. I’m pretty sure “sales” here in all examples means – US taxpayer $ consumed. NOT Mexicans transfer funds to US gov’t or US suppliers.

  2. So I pay taxes (from a private industry job), the US gov’t uses my tax money to buy guns, the US gov’t sells those guns to Mexico, the guns walk away from the Mexican gov’t to the drug cartels, violence happens, and the US gov’t wants to ban guns for tax donkeys like me. Sounds about right.

  3. Funny how every asshole in the world can get U.S. military weapons, but not us, nooo, far too dangerous to let Americans get ahold of that stuff. Better to give automatic weapons head-chopping Mohammedans and psycho Cartel members.

  4. Tragically, it is futile to attempt to draw any line separating the Mexican government from its rivals, the cartels. The people retain a constitutional – and substantially practical – right to keep arms at home, but not to carry. The civilian market for arms is – for practical purposes – a black market. (The one gun store is in Mexico City and operated by the military.)

    Unless and until peaceful Mexicans stand up for their right of self-defense – at least against petty criminals who rape, rob and murder at will – I have little hope for any resolution. Some residents of one Mexican state (Michoacan) are organizing small armed groups called “auto-defenses” (self-defenders). They must face off with opposition from both the cartels and Federal forces. The Mexican government is far more tolerant of the cartels offensive weapons than it is of its own citizens defensive weapons.

    This is armed lawlessness on a military scale on our boarder; not in the Middle-East. It’s time for Americans to wake up and smell the cafe.

    • Hard to take anyone seriously when they cannot even spell “border”.

      Also hard to take anyone seriously who thinks that all the weapons going into Mexico are walking away to the cartels. They aren’t. No cartel operates helicopters, although someone did shoot down a DHS Eurocopter just north of Laredo a few days ago due to ground fire.

      What there is more of are small quantities of light weapons going to local cops and the state cops that walk away. And a lot of those are, in fact, being supplied by smaller US manufacturers.

      The naivety of ammosexuals about what goes on in Mexico is breathtaking but I guess that’s what you expect when you have a bunch of people that get their “info” from Breitbart and other silly far right media. Like Infowars.

      • Another Marxist false god providing nothing more than its narcissistic personality disorder sophistry and lies and not one valid piece of data to prove it isn’t lying eh mikeb

      • Did you fail basic Econ? Why would the cartels pay retail for small arms when they can buy military heavy weapons for less? An AK costs $300 on the international black market, an M4 ~$500. Why would the cartels bother to smuggle more expensive and less useful civilian arms across a heavily guarded border?

  5. I’ll go ahead and start the clock on the “Federale Blackhawk Shot Down by Cartel Missle” headline.

  6. Last May, Washington approved a sale of more than 3,000 Humvees for the Mexican military, at a cost of $556 million, in order to expand “existing army architecture to combat drug trafficking organizations” and enhance “interoperability between Mexico and the U.S.” The Humvees will be built by AM General in Mishawaka, Indiana. A later report said that in December the Pentagon approved sale of 2,200 of the Humvee vehicles, for just $245 million.

    That’s a $74,000 discount on each Humvee!

  7. OMG, the “river of Iron” they ATF used to say.

    If the USG can sell Full Automatic Rifles to a “foreign” governments, why can’t I buy one?

  8. This is all the fault of our gun stores, gun shows, the NRA and the Twelve Years of Reagan-Bush. But if Randy Weaver or his contemporary counterpart get suckered into an ATF or Feebie sting op, he’s likely to get killed or see his family murdered before his eyes.

    Cui bono? When all kinds of LE and mil-spec ordinance is funneled to a failed state like Mexico or Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan?

    And cui bono when our own regime stomps us down and denies us our 2A?

    It is almost as if they WANT to generate violent chaos.

  9. Mexico has gone beyond the point where military weapons “leak” to criminal organizations. THAT only requires the corruption of a few, well-placed individuals within an organization. It has now reached the point where guns go walkies from one government organization, only to reappear in the hands of a different government organization, that isn’t authorized to have them. This typically means the latter organization has become so corrupted, so wholly owned and operated by the cartels, that the criminals are actually providing THEM with arms.

  10. Awesome, Our government sells weapons to Mexico and in return we get Fords, Chevy’s, Honda’s and VW’s built by Mexicans and an open gate for their poor, which we taxpayers support.

    They’ll never build the wall.

    • You left out Freightliners and those neat Iveco vans that Dodge is selling as Ram Vans. Ford used to have Navistar build many of their larger diesel pickups at a plant outside Monterrey but I think they closed that operation after Ford and Navistar had a falling out.

      But this narrative about poor Mexicans streaming across the border is bologna. More than 50% of the folks that the Border Patrol are catching are Other Than Mexican. For several years people were returning to Mexico rather than coming over because the economy was improving in Mexico and dying here.

      Building a border wall is silly. Much easier to deport the racist ammosexuals that can’t get along with Latins. Right now Texas is about 50% Latin and Spanish is the dominant language in most of South Texas. The Latins were here first. The border has been redraw several times and it’s silly to expect Mexican families to leave quietly just because a bunch of Confederates from the defeated south showed up and decided they wanted the land.

        • Because you have millions of Latins in south Texas with divided families, and that’s largely a result of encouraging people to cross the border to work the ranches and farms.

          Also, you now have children coming in from Latin nations other than Mexico.

          I guess these are complicated concepts for people that are Fascists in training that get their news from Faux Noise and Breitbart.

      • Alright, I don’t normally respond to someone ignorant enough to call us “ammosexuals,” but I’m exceedingly curious where you get your “50% of illegals from the southern border aren’t even Mexican.” Perhaps there’s a glitch in your mom’s computer in the basement.

      • Wow you sound like a tequila worm crawled up your butt and died. Face it, your country of Mexico has been a basket case and always will be a basket case. It lost that territory because Mexico was in perpetual civil unrest, and the people of Texas had enough of it. Not only did the Mexican Army get thrown out of Texas, it was defeated on it’s own soil by the American Army during the Mexican American War. But the United States, despite delivering the rightful ass kicking Mexico deserved, was benevolent enough to pay Mexico for the land we won during the War, 15 million dollars, plus taking over 3 million of debt owed by the government of Mexico to individual U.S. Citizens.

        I might add that we should adopt the same immigration enforcement measures the Mexican government has. A sealed Southern border and no accommodations to foreigners here illegally. You might be shocked at how inconsiderate and non-compassionate the Mexican authorities are to illegals in their own country.

  11. Speaking of the Mexican government and the Mexican cartels as separate entitles is foolish. For years now, the Mexican central government and the Sinaloa Cartel have been close allies and business partners, with Los Zetas as their mutual enemy. State and local Mexican authorities are in bed with other cartels. It’s the Mexican way.

    Washington collaborated with the Mexican government to arm the Sinaloas. It still does. Just like our own governments are in bed with gangs. It’s nothing new.

    While most of us are busy railing against China and Russia, our real enemies (who are promoting the conflicts with China and Russia) are in Washington and Mexico City, and they’re laughing at us.

    • Sure, they laugh when they wine and dine at their cocktail parties. But the presence of hundreds of thousands of armed Americans who aren’t fooled by their rhetoric and deceit chills them to their dirty cores.

  12. The U.S. federal government doesn’t want the Mexican people to successfully rise up and overthrow the tyrannical government that is currently in power there.

    • Hell no they don’t. One side of the aisle wants legions of teat sucking voters, and the other wants cheap, exploitable labor.

  13. If we did that, it would be called nefarious and criminal arms dealing. When our government does it, it’s called diplomacy and above question by the mere “we the people” citizens.

    Welcome to the progressive elitists new world of the US thanks to Barrack Obama and his ‘useful idiot’ minions.

  14. So, we sold about $1 Billion of arms to Mexico this year or last year. Now if we could only do that with 999 other countries, we could eliminate half of our 2015 budget deficit.

    • “The majority of the firearms that the government DID submit to the ATF never saw the inside of a U.S. gunshop:” Alas, the footnotes to the ATF publication do not support this conclusion. The reasons guns fell into this category include:
      – incomplete firearms identifying data on the trace request
      – incomplete or never received Federal firearms licensee records
      – altered or obliterated firearm serial numbers
      – firearm is considered to be too old to trace
      – current firearms licensee records are incomplete or missing or the licensee was unresponsive.

      Without a breakdown of the percentages (approximately 50%) there is little that could be said about the meaning of this category. E.g., what if most of the “Unable to determine a purchaser” was due to an incomplete firearms identifying data cause? All we could say is that the manual transcription by the Mexican authorities was erroneous. What if most were incomplete or never received out-of-business records? Maybe the ATF is really incapable of collecting and retrieving scanned records from FFLs that go out of business? And so forth.

      The assertion would have to be sustained by some explanation of how it might be that there is 1+ big category here hiding – e.g., – government to government sales or commercial exports, etc.

      The entire discussion of guns bought in the US for clandestine export to Mexico is more-or-less irrelevant. It is some mix of:
      – cartel purchases; or,
      – demand from the black-market patronized by individual Mexicans

      The cartels can’t be presumed to be without resources to obtain guns from any other country in the world. If – by magic – this flow were stopped completely American guns would be exported to Central or South America under proper US licenses and then re-routed back to Mexico.

      Mexican citizens enjoy a constitutional right to keep arms in their homes (but not to carry them off their property). Although unlicensed importation is unlawful and many useful calibers are unlawful for citizens to own, they are often owned by peaceable citizens. Those Mexicans (whether peaceable or criminals) not armed by the cartels would be buying guns illegally imported from other countries if they didn’t buy American sourced guns.

  15. Why would any self respecting Mexican tinpot dictator buy COTS rifles from the U.S. when Uncle Sam is providing him with shiny new M4s at ~$700 a pop?

    • I agree; the cartels can get much better stuff and much cheaper than what Bud’s Gun Shop sells.

  16. “These sales do not include guns and ammunition. In 2014, the U.S. legally transferred more than 28,000 firearms to Mexico, most of them military rifles, at a value of $21.6 million. We need to close the Gun Show Loophole. All those darn OFWGs.

  17. You’re seriously complaining about the sale of the helicopters?

    NEWS FLASH!

    The folks building them are highly skilled American aerospace workers.

    You’d rather see the sale go to Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter)?

    These are the folks we WANT to stay employed.

    • Even bigger newsflash, Einstein. Airbus Helicopters, at least in this part of the world, are built in north Texas. The Border Patrol and Texas Air Guard fly Airbus copters.

      Tamaulipas State flies a mixture of Bell UH-1’s and Jetrangers.

      The most common helicopter around the border at McAllen through Laredo (Matamoros, Reynosa, and Nuevo Laredo for the one or two ammosexuals that actually know their geography) are Russian made Mil MI-17 copters that patrol right next to the border. I’ve heard tales of people watching them use rockets within sight of the border a bit southeast of Laredo.

      • Even bigger newsflash,”God”.

        The Grand Prairie, Texas facility is an assembly-completion faculty, NOT manufacturing.

  18. Wow. That’s 28,000 form 4473’s. And 28,000 calls to the NICS. And 28,000 passes. Well, at least it was all on the level. Thank God those evil guns won’t ever be used against American citizens. So if those guns are found in Mexico, are we to assume that they would be given amnesty too?

  19. Only a 10 fold increase in military spending from the US (which is a good % of hardware there)……….

    That outta take care of those pesky autodefense farming groups. Mwhahahah!!!!!

  20. These sales, transfers etc do nothing to reduce the incredibly tragic situation within the country of Mexico. The only ones who profit are the ones doing the selling, and the ones who are in power in Mexico.

  21. This reminds me of the 2009 U.S. Army Contract for 55,890 SIG pistols to transfer to the Colombian National police with 42000 pistols to follow. So they can buy $300 million (~100,000 pistols)SIG’s for the Colombians but not the U.S. Marines. I doubt a guy like Frank White is on the other end these days to make damn sure they don’t end up in Cartel hands either.

    • Small potatoes.

      My favorite contract of the last few years was reported by the British aviation media. The US Air Force furnished 4 Blackhawks in VIP configuration for the Jordanian royal family. Interiors were contracted to a company at the airport in San Antonio and ran something like $50million for interiors alone.

      If you really want to get mad then take a look at the amount of material that is being given to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *