Mexico Mexican military guns firearms military cartel corruption
Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval, left, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador salute during an event marking Army Day at the Zocalo in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
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By Larry Keane

Mexico is going to have to answer a few basic questions when their lawyers finally step in front of a judge to claim that U.S.-based manufacturers are somehow responsible for their own lack of law enforcement on their side of the border.

First question: where are all the firearms that went missing from the Mexican military? That would be those firearms supplied by U.S. manufacturers pursuant to U.S. State Department approved export licenses to meet foreign defense contracts but have somehow walked off Mexican military bases.

The Allegation

Mexico is suing U.S. manufacturers for $10 billion in damages, alleging those manufacturers participate in negligent business practices and are responsible for “massive damage” that is “destabilizing” their country. Mexican authorities take no responsibility for failing to enforce their own gun control laws or acknowledge the fact that corruption by narco-terrorists is a way of life for many of their own government officials.

Mexico is ranked as 124 out of 180 countries on a corruption index by the watchdog Transparency International. That put Mexico on par with Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Mexico claims in their lawsuit, according to Reuters, that over a half million firearms are illegally trafficked into their country in a deliberate scheme to undermine their strict gun laws in ways that would knowingly arm drug cartels, fueling murders, extortion and kidnappings. Their lawsuit alleges that 68 percent of the firearms recovered are manufactured in the United States.

The Evidence

Mexico has just one firearm retailer in the entire country. That’s in the heart of Mexico City and is encamped in the middle of a military base. Still, guns are being recovered and it turns out that Mexico’s military is a source.

Mexico Mexican military guns firearms military cartel corruption gun store
In this July 15, 2016 photo, Army Col. Eduardo Tellez Moreno who is the director of the country’s lone gun store in Mexico City poses for a photo. Mexicans can legally purchase one handgun for home protection, while members of hunting or shooting clubs can acquire up to nine rifles of no more than .30 caliber and shotguns up to 12 gauge, said Tellez Moreno, but he would prefer that no one buy what he’s selling. (AP Photo/Nick Wagner)

Mexico’s Army is losing approximately 30 percent of their firearms purchased from U.S. manufacturers. Those firearms are being recovered in crime scenes across the country. Firearms manufactured in the United States and sold lawfully through military contracts aren’t the only ones. Other firearms from manufacturers based in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain are also being recovered at crime scenes.

The fact that these firearms are being “lost” by the Mexican Army is worth noting, since it is only the Mexican Army that can purchase these firearms.

The report of these firearms going missing came from Mexican journalist Carlos Loret De Mola and was reported by Breitbart. That report also indicated that it is only the Mexican Army that can sell firearms and that an office called CENAPI, that resides within that of the Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Gomez, tracks firearms recovered at crime scenes, but Loret De Mola claims that information is being suppressed because of Mexico’s pending lawsuit against U.S. manufacturers.

Mexico Mexican military guns firearms military cartel corruption
Mexican army officers inspect seized ammunition during a media presentation of a weapons cache that includes 154 rifles and shotguns and over 92,000 rounds of ammunition, in Mexico City, Friday June 3, 2011. Army Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas said Friday the weapons were found in “a subterranean stockpile” at a ranch near the northern city of Monclova this week. Authorities believe the weapons belonged to the Zetas drug cartel. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

CENAPI reportedly denied Loret De Mola’s request for information about recovered firearms in what is being termed as a way to cover up the Mexican Army’s role in gun trafficking.

Verdict Due

The gun scandal isn’t the first time Mexican military and government officials were incriminated for breaking their own laws, working with narco-terrorists and fueling the violence within their own country. Mexican Gen. Juan Ernesto Antonio Bernal Reyes, the former candidate to be the Mexican defense secretary, was arrested Oaxaca on extortion charges in December 2021.

In October 2020, U.S. authorities arrested Mexico’s Secretary of Defense Salvador Cienfuegos for drug trafficking and money laundering charges. He was turned over to Mexican authorities after U.S. authorities succumbed to pressure to not prosecute and on a promise Mexico would investigate and prosecute the case. The charges against him were dismissed, however.

Mexico Mexican military guns firearms military cartel corruption
Soldiers stand next a stack of seized firearms before they were destroyed by the army in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Mexican authorities only recently announced charges for seven individuals stemming from the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious gun-running scheme where the Obama administration allowed firearms to be illegally trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border only to not track them once they were in Mexico. That secretive operation was revealed in 2010 after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed and two firearms connected with the operation were recovered.

At the time, U.S. authorities were aware of at least 179 firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes and another 130 recovered in the United States.

Mexico lodged charges in the decade-old Operation Fast and Furious case against the seven which include the country’s former top police official, Genaro García Luna, security chief for Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón from 2006-2012, former Federal Police commander Luis Cardenas Palomino, a close assistant to García Luna and former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

García Luna was arrested in Texas in 2019 by U.S. authorities for allegations he was protecting a drug gang. Mexico is currently seeking his extradition to face trial there.

Palomino was already arrested by Mexican authorities for torture charges and U.S. authorities accuse him of taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel. “El Chapo” Guzman was convicted in a U.S. court of drug trafficking and is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado.

Mexico Mexican military guns firearms military cartel corruption
Workers repair the facade of City Hall riddled with bullet holes, in Villa Union, Mexico, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. The small town near the U.S.-Mexico border began cleaning up Monday even as fear persisted after 22 people were killed in a weekend gun battle between a heavily armed drug cartel assault group and security forces. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Mexican authorities confirmed that one of the rifles trafficked in Operation Fast and Furious, a .50-caliber rifle, was recovered in Guzman’s hideout. Mexico has named the manufacturer of that rifle as a defendant in their lawsuit.

It took a decade for Mexico to bring charges against Guzman, who is already sitting in U.S. prison after multiple escapes from Mexican prisons.

Mexico’s lawsuit against U.S. firearm manufacturers is a farce. The culprit for the lawlessness ravaging America’s southern neighbor isn’t in the manufacturing facilities in United States. It is in the halls of their own government and within the ranks of their own military.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Mexican crooks? In their “government” NOOOOOO. Next you’ll try to tell us its the same in Puerto Rico.

  2. “…124 out of 180..”

    Mis caballeros down south are slipping…in the immortal words of Avis…Mexico needs to try harder to become #1 (from the bottom).

  3. When cartel says give us guns and we’ll pay you, or don’t give us guns and we kill your family, there’s not much deliberation, I imagine.

      • You find the weakest link in the process. And that is a person is either underpaid or has other exploitable weaknesses.

    • “When cartel says give us guns and we’ll pay you, or don’t give us guns and we kill your family,…”

      AKA, in the Spanish language, “Plata o Plomo”, “Silver or Lead”…

      • Good afternoon:

        Please remember that no matter how heavy your burdens, no matter how dark your hours, and no matter how heavy your load, take heart in the fact that you’re not Geoff the Florida Pervert.

  4. Is very analogous to blue states claiming that all of their gun crimes are the result of red states selling guns.

    No. Your problems are not the result of more liberal access to guns in other areas. Your problems are numerous and the often the result of your policies.

    • I lived there for 6 years and it appears to me that most of the time Mexican soldiers, police, politicians, and bureaucrats are the cartels. Very close to nobody says “no” to the cartels. I posit that, in their place, most of us would do the same. It is a horrific situation.

  5. Its one of those cases where there is truth on both sides. The Mexican Government profits from the drug trade who pays them off to leave them alone and is so corrupt it probably sells them military weapons as well.

    On the other hand many Americans make a living running second hand guns to Mexico. Its big business. Again police tracings prove it beyond all doubt.

    And of course guns come into Mexico from other South American Countries and from some European ones as well.

    It all boils down to Mexican Government Corruption and lax U.S. lax gun laws that allow the trafficking of second hand guns with no paperwork which no other civilized nations on earth permit. This also results in U.S. streets running red with rivers of blood in our major cities that have meaningless tough gun laws being destroyed by the traffic of second hand guns up the “Iron Pipe Line” from states with lax gun laws. Police tracings prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The Far Right of course scream “Losses can never be too high”.

    In the meantime Far Right Nazi Fanatics like the Proud Boys plot the take over of the U.S. Government turning it into a one party state with Herr Drumpf as permanent Dictator. All Herr Drumpf needs is a willing U.S. General to back him and the U.S. will be the latest 3rd World Banana Republic with a possible civil war if another U.S. General decides to fight the Trump General.

    All this reminds one of the past and the then soon to be Roman Dictator Constantine who claimed to have looked out from his balcony and screamed “I have seen the cross of light in the heavens” only this time it will be Herr Drumpf screaming the same thing to his glazed eyed religious fanatical followers. Rome then did not live happily ever after, nor will the U.S. of Capitalvania. Religious warfare broke out in Rome and in the present days Trumps fanatical religious crowd will attempt to turn Capitalvania into a Christian Caliphate with Herr Drump’s unofficial blessing. Does all this sound familiar??? If you know your Roman history it certainly does.

    Trump’s 1923 style Beer Hall Putsch is just the beginning of the horror proving History does indeed repeat itself, especially since most of the “Ignorant of History” Conservative Americans do not know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the horrors of the past. He who does not know the past is condemned to relive it in the future and the future has now come to the U.S. all too soon as a fast politically asleep America teeters on the abyss of deeply Trump divided America and a smiling Herr Drumpf wearing his twisted arm band to shouting crowds of glazed eyed ignorant followers believing he is the new Messiah that will bring back the good old days of American prosperity just as Hitler told his people the same some 89 years ago. History repeats itself.

      • As a narco-state it hasn’t failed at all. Millions of US and Canadian citizens support it with everything they can scrape together.

    • 2 Things:

      1). That is a hell of a word wall you made there.
      2). Your use of inflammatory language is not helping you sound sane.

      • Dacian doesn’t understand that most of wouldn’t read a comment that long even if it was from a beloved dead grandfather. Dacian is writing for itself and itself alone whether it realizes it or not.

        • pushing a narrative…”lax” is a subjective term…and in most states it just means normal…thinking they’re going to change their laws to accommodate some ultra-liberal neighbor state is a fool’s errand…

      • I have no idea what Dacian has ever written. It could be a William F. Buckley super fan for all I know.

    • You need to find alternative employment because your skills as a historian and political commentator are severely lacking. I suggest that you hire Monica Lewinsky to teach you the skills that you will need for the only profession that you have any aptitude for.

    • dacian, Again, you lie. It has been proven that second hand as you call it sales quote:” On the other hand many Americans make a living running second hand guns to Mexico. Its big business. Again police tracings prove it beyond all doubt.” is an outright and bold faced lie. The Obuma the Phony Administration admitted that your statement is poppycock. Gun dealers in Texas and Arizona tried to put stops to such gun sales and was told by NICS to lee the sales go through.
      How you are allowed to pass off this poppycock as “gospel” shows that the “moderation” here is pure unadulterated horse pucky!

    • the Nazis were left wing big government types.

      the extreme right wing of the spectrum has NO GOVERNMENT.

      we support that government which governs least, not like you pinheads who think Hitler was a right winger.

      that’s okay. guaranteed none of this will sink in.

  6. OH yes, that is a real mystery. where could all those firearms be going.

    This one may be one for the amazing kreskin

  7. At this point someone who lost relatives to drugs or had been somehow damaged by narcotics smuggled from Mexico should sue the mexican government for its responsability in allowing its officials to be accomplices of the cartels.

  8. Making drugs legal has never made crime go away. And not enforcing drug laws has never made crime go away.
    But the legalization crowd will tell you crime will just go away, If you legalize all drugs.

    Chairman Mao was correct. “Power flows out the end of a gun barrel.” As I have said before. Anyone who believes that criminals are going to “just give up their power” is simply stupid or a fool.
    The laws should be changed. To allow law-abiding citizens to shoot dead on-site drug users and drug dealers. When they rob, rape, murder, steal, break into or vandalize private property.

    • quote————-But the legalization crowd will tell you crime will just go away, If you legalize all drugs.———-quote

      Various European countries have legalized drugs and saved millions and helped people get off of drugs. The did not have to hire armies of thug cops to arrest addicted people and often shoot them as you advocate. They did not have to build super prisons to incarcerate people for nonviolent crimes sometimes for 20 years which cost the tax payers billions.

      If you had not flunked history classes we can study shooting people addicted to drugs as far back as China pre-WWII and what has happened recently in the Philippian Islands. They only succeeded in making the streets run red with blood and the drug traffic was not halted at all.

      Even a retarded Dotard knows that when addicted people get free drugs they are not going to rob and steal to pay drug dealers for a commodity they can get for free and if they are given treatment that is the drug dealers worst nightmare. Of course all this is over the heads of the stupidity of the Far Right.

      • If you think the criminals will pack up and go home if they can’t deal in drugs that have now been made legal, you must really be mixing your medications and taking way beyond the prescribed doses.

        Criminals will simply move into other activities such as kidnapping, hijacking, extortion, gambling, and others.

      • dacian, NO ONE gets off drugs until they really want to get off drugs. An addict is an addict for life, if the addict is honest with him/herself. Government does not help anyone. they either do it themselves or they don’t do it at all. Why do you think the recidivist rate is 66.666%.

        The super prisons are for the really bad guys and convicts who don’t adapt to the prison system. Very very few drug dealers or addicts go to “super max”. It is clear you know less about this issue than you do about any other.

        For your edification the Philippian government only executes DRUG DEALERS. Not addicts. Singapore also executes drug dealers. How come you left them out?

  9. The United States needs to countersue Mexico for all the drugs they allow to cross the border.
    Sauce for the gander and all.

  10. Mexico is an oil rich country. It’s not my fault that the Mexicans can’t get it together and start hanging their corrupt leaders from lamp posts. If we had national borders that were enforced, it would cause the political pressure to build up in Mexico. And force a change.

    Instead the people just ran away to the good old “racist” (the Liberals say it is???) USA, seeking a better life. And they do very well for themselves here. The contractors hire them (skilled labor) to work on houses like mine. While they displace skilled american labor.

    • had a crew come in to replace the roof on the house next door…never heard a single word in English…and this in an area that rarely, if ever hears a word spoken in Spanish…

  11. Mexico ‘loses’ 30% of the firearms it buys from the U.S. because if it lost 100% there wouldn’t be any left over for the Mexican soldiers.

  12. It appears that the Mexican government was remiss in not indicting and suing Eric Holder for his complictness in “Fast and Furious”.

  13. The Mexican government would love for you to believe that groups like CJNG get M2s and FIM-92s because people run guns into Mexico.

    The reality is that this is true, it’s just that they don’t want to tell you the whole truth which is that the biggest gun runners are the Mexican and US governments.

  14. “Mexico’s Army is losing approximately 30 percent of their firearms purchased from U.S. manufacturers”

    that’s a non-issue. the real issue is that 30 percent of their troops are cartel members, there for the military training.

  15. Mexican police have long been famous for selling their guns for the right price. The military is no different.

  16. It’s all very simple. The Narco Cartels have had generations to compromise all the people they needed to compromise to get weapons and ammo into their own hands. From the military, from the police, from out of the country. This is organized crime to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a year, of course they get whatever they want.

  17. First, 30%’s a low ball figure.

    Second, when Private Pancho makes more pesos selling his M4 to his cousin Cocaine Cheech, than he’ll make in a year, what do you think is going to happen?
    “Here’s some magazeenes to go wi’ chour new Carabina Esse.” That’s what happens, that’s what has happened for decades.

  18. Too bad we can’t nuke the cretins(entire country) and save a lot of border,drug problems !!

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