HomeNewsBriefUS Main Source of Illegal High-Caliber Weapons in São Paulo: Report
BRIEF

US Main Source of Illegal High-Caliber Weapons in São Paulo: Report

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 10 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

An investigation into arms seized in Brazil's biggest city, São Paulo, has revealed the United States is the largest single source of high-caliber weapons confiscated from criminals, a trend seen in much of the region's criminal hotspots.

According to a report by BBC Mundo, a study carried out by NGO Sou da Paz found that 56 percent of high-caliber weapons confiscated from criminals in the city between 2011 and 2012 came from overseas. Of the total number of high-caliber weapons confiscated, more than a third -- 35.6 percent -- originated in the United States, which one of the Sou da Paz study authors attributed in part to the ease with which civilians can get hold of such weaponry.

With the origin of 23 percent of the weapons not identified, the possibility remained that an even higher proportion could have come from the United States. Of the high-caliber weapons accounted for, Brazil itself was the second largest source, making up 21 percent of the 231 confiscated from criminals.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Arms Trafficking 

While the pattern is noteworthy, small arms made up the vast majority -- 93 percent -- of the more than 10,666 industrial weapons seized in São Paulo during the period, with 78 percent of those made in Brazil. Among the key domestic arms producers responsible for making guns confiscated from criminals, the manufacturer Taurus was most prominent, reported BBC Mundo.

InSight Crime Analysis

The fact so many weapons confiscated from criminals in Brazil's largest city originate in the country raises the question of how these weapons find their way into criminal hands and whether authorities can control this by imposing more stringent gun control laws.

common pattern is for purchased Brazilian arms to be trafficked to Paraguay, where they are sold or exchanged for drugs and often later resold and trafficked back. In 2011, Brazilian authorities also warned that weapons were flooding into the country by sea, something likely to have a profound effect on cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, which are on or very close to the coast.  

The fact that most of the high powered arms confiscated in São Paulo originate in the United States fits a pattern seen around the region, with the country a common source of assault weapons for criminals around the region, especially in Mexico and in Colombia 

Though such a trend should be cause for greater debate on gun control in the United States, with reforms blocked even after US agents were gunned down by Mexican criminals using US-made and trafficked weapons, it is unlikely this report will have much effect.  

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

ARGENTINA / 4 AUG 2011

Bolivia is set to install a radar security system on its border to better monitor its airspace and fight drug…

BRAZIL / 3 AUG 2011

With some of Rio de Janeiro's most crime-ridden favelas under police occupation, the next step is to build solid institutions…

BRAZIL / 8 AUG 2012

Brazil has deployed an additional 10,000 soldiers to its borders with Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina as the fifth stage of…

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.