HomeNewsBriefMexico's Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years
BRIEF

Mexico's Public Security Lost 13,000 Weapons in 10 Years

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 7 JUN 2016 BY DEBORAH BONELLO EN

Nearly 13,000 guns have been lost or stolen from Mexico’s public security agencies over the last ten years, according to a recent report, a telling reminder that the country's black market weapons don't just come from north of the border.

The majority of the 12,878 weapons that went missing or were stolen during that period disappeared in Mexico City, Mexico State, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco, according to documents from Mexico’s National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (IFAIaccessed by Milenio

In 2009, 800 guns were lost or stolen from local police stations in Mexico City -- 637 handguns and 163 long arms. That was also the year that the most guns vanished nationwide. (See Milenio's graph below)

The Mexican government increased its purchase of firearms by more than three-fold in the first half of this decade. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) reports that Mexico’s arms imports grew by 331 percent between 2011–15 compared with 2006–10.

16-06-06-Mexico-Weapons-Stolen

InSight Crime Analysis

The missing weapons described by Milenio were likely destined for Mexico’s black market and bought up by organized criminal networks and, possibly, the armed vigilante groups operating in many parts of the Republic, for use against rival gangs as well as state agents.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Significantly, these figures go some way to countering the idea that all illegal arms in Mexico come from the United States. Arms trafficked from Mexico's northern neighbor have been found to be the biggest source of illegal weapons for Mexican criminal gangs. A 2012 government study found that more than 70 percent of firearms recovered in Mexico in the five years prior could be traced to the US.

The fact that so many guns have gone missing within Mexico, and reports that some cartels might even be manufacturing their own weapons, points to a diversification on the part of criminal gangs in how they source their weapons.

The demand for guns has shot up parallel with the militarization of Mexico’s so-called “drug war”. The 331 percent increase of legal weapons imports from abroad shows that the Mexican government is arming up, not dialing it down.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HEROIN / 7 MAR 2011

Two of the most important annual reports about drug production have been released, and with them comes the inevitable diplomatic…

MEXICO / 3 NOV 2016

Mexico has had poor results in recuperating stolen cultural antiquities. There are deficiencies in both the registration of these thefts…

HOMICIDES / 1 MAY 2021

Mexico has once again dominated a list of the most violent cities in the world but smaller towns have now…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.