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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 JUN 2021

Florida has been unable to shake its reputation as a go-to destination for Latin American criminals to secure guns and…

BRAZIL / 9 FEB 2021

The volume of cocaine needed to feed the booming European market requires the type of bulk transport capabilities offered by…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 25 FEB 2021

In Concepción, powerful drug traffickers have penetrated local politics. With corruption rife, some municipalities have started to resemble criminal enclaves.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…