tv Americas Guns Arming Mexicos Cartels Al Jazeera March 22, 2018 12:32pm-1:01pm +03
rebels have surrendered control of a town in eastern ghouta after russia brokered a transfer deal there greenman allowing travel from the roster to rebel held at provinces the first since the government and ten to five its bombardment on eastern cuba last month to other areas of the suburb near damascus remain under rebel control. derrius government says most of the one hundred ten schoolgirls who were abducted by boko haram fighters last month are now free one hundred five girls are brought to a boucher to meet the president in ministers who negotiated their release government says to agree to a temporary pause in fighting with the armed groups. police have placed francis former president nicolas sarkozy under formal investigation after questioning over the past two days and a five year long inquiry into a legal election campaign two nations sarkozy denies receiving millions of dollars just before he was elected in two thousand and seven from the former libyan leader moammar gadhafi. u.s. media says donald trump is about to announce fifty billion dollars worth of tariffs
on products made in china the white house says are paid only accuse china of unfair trade practices and stealing intellectual property and his ministry of commerce says that they recently resolutely opposed american protectionism keep it or more to come on al-jazeera people in power is next. to. impossible to. usas constitutionally controlling the fed with firearms is given to the highest levels of private gun ownership in the world and to truly staggering right gun related homicides but it isn't just the us that's felt the effects sampson's border
in mexico american soldiers weapons. that come to use drugs. on the reverse has been to invest. this is a shooting range in the southern united states. here in texas shooting is a popular and competitive sport ok you're reading it's my first time shooting a gun magazine goes in it sure shoulder correctly. it's an assault rifle designed for wolf. they're sure to shot night at five o'clock so it would have
taken this person out you know she would be dead. today an estimated two hundred seventy million guns are privately owned in the united states shooting ranges and gun shops everywhere and the arms industry is a multi-billion dollar business but only a few miles south across the border in mexico u.s. source firearms i having a deadly effect. we have come to investigate how mexican drug cartels exploit weak u.s. gun laws to arm themselves with american weapons. our journey begins in a hotel in the northern mexican state of tamaulipas. we have a range to meet a group of people whose family members have gone missing it's not known whether they're living or dead the presence of drug cartels on the streets makes it too dangerous to meet them in an outside location along with me is that in the that are
. committed is that that is a thirty day you're not. minimal money and. in. see monitors arms does that. mean yes it is. but the odds of finding a family member a life alone. since two thousand and four well over one hundred fifty thousand people have been killed in mexico's so-called war on drugs. here in town my only purpose the gulf cartel and the last letters cartel are in a violent battle over the control of lucrative drug routes. civilians are often forced to take sides or end up in the crossfire most. of them with locals. is the most effective than i was visiting here to see me he carries tamils to his
windows but ok muslims who live in. many bodies haven't yet been found because it's too dangerous for investigators to search the bodies they do get found and up here. at the state attorney general's office in the forensic autopsy center. so when did this body of arrive at that work we were more . at if. the bullet traveled at such high speed it continued to move once inside the body it was fired from an assault rifle like the a k forty seven or a or fifteen the cartels favorite weapons. faced with such deadly firepower the mexican police have taken on a paramilitary appearance captain edgar. has agreed to show me what his officers
have to deal with when battling heavily armed drug cartels. we've arrived here at a peak in the violence since april twenty seventh teen close to one hundred people have been killed in. including several police so they are on high alert is this how you normally travel in a convoy we never know when it's going to be on the rationals also be prepared to streets look deceptively quiet but it's in transit we're most attacks. you can see the normal people walking in and you never know who is walking yeah so everybody could be a cartel of exactly the impact of the cartels gun battles is clearly visible in residential areas. because of the bullets over the walls were there was a glass before the car those were inside the. start of. the time there were like nine people killed. the violence has civilians from their homes.
to housing to places of work that they have decided to leave because of the violent because of a. rather go to another state that's kind of over or to the united states north to keep better life. next that god takes us to the cities jail he wants to show us that the cartels weapons are everywhere barely two months before our visit to jail was home to a massive dry it. it's alleged that the weapons were smuggled in with the help of corrupt prison guards. they had more than i would say like six thousand bullets inside what weapons did the christmas help long guns just so similar to the end of the war and certainly we could get some guns but for dinner we know that there are many guns inside that we don't know where the hay
here and you know during the raid seven people were killed four were inmates but also three police officers from. when we got closer. i got a. problem you're saying they still have guns inside. they will be able to seal the right. side. and who controls the other side we also right now we're also the other so i am very glad to see the charge over controlling our. mexico is very prescriptive gun laws and weapons such as these are only legal in the hands of security forces yet the cartels seem to phrase no shortage of firepower. like that but i think if they're. going to. do you sometimes feel that the cartels
the other side is better equipped than you are. for them of a sudden. loss going to go. you know that. they're very little got to go see if you remember and i mean so when i got. joyous that. these weapons have been collected by mexican security forces from crime scenes the cartels obtain firearms from a number of sources including neighboring countries in china but out of the serial numbers submitted to american authorities for tracing seventy percent track to purchases from u.s. gun shops. to take them out of circulation the time i would replace government organizes regular destructions. the illegal flow of weapons across the border is a sensitive issue mexico and the u.s.
are heavily invested in trade but it will be a victim i will say in the governor's chief of staff is in regular talks with this u.s. clearly you know that i'm the last one of the person but the young fellow who knew the simple you could have been one of them. are in prime. and why you that they specifically in what ways do you think the americans could tell you in their gun legislation to stop the flood of weapons coming across the border or you're meant that. this area was going also in the. most but on for both the wall or fence or. a better one. because because i'm we were rewarded for this when. we leave to follow the gun smuggling route back north the authorities insist that we travel with an escort as the closer you get to the u.s.
the more dangerous it becomes we've just reached the border. and we've been told categorically that we can still hear the cartels are fighting each other and dad with the security forces. and then we reach the call of the border queues. on the other side it's in the world here in the city of maccallum it's much more peaceful but certainly guns are a common sight the number nearly five thousand the highest for any american state this is the real deal already here this is all the automatic a k forty seven it looks ugly it sounds ugly. in scares people of course this is the guy that most of the bad people in mexico like. mildred darrow is a federally licensed firearms dealer we had to find out how traffickers managed to
purchase weapons intakes in gun store if somebody comes in and once to buy a weapon from you what are you required to do by law when you're never filled you know you can only sell to people in your state they have to show some kind of proof of id they want to be ok this is called the fore. or seventy three and they're going to ask you are you the actual buy that gone they are going to ask you are you under indictment have you ever been convicted all these kind of questions can they lie yes they can they can lie in the form. because suppliers must show identification mexican cartels and commission locals to buy weapons on their behalf it's cool to strew purchase since twenty eleven gun dealers must notify the authorities of multiple sales of the gun it's a regulation introduced by the obama administration to make it easier to spot straw
purchases if you buy rifles there or magazine fed. twenty two in caliber you have to do a multiple sale for those two. but since president trumps election gun owners think tighter regulation is a thing of the post it's been very very slow i love donald trump. i love donald trump but now that trump was on everybody's happy that guns are not going to go away and i don't want to buying anything so. we want to hear the traffic is sullied and the law enforcement officer has put us in touch with the mexican police informant this man used to work for the gulf cartel can you describe to me how the cartels operating the weapons trafficking from the u.s. into mexico it was almost. you know sort of.
you. know. what about the mexican security forces did they make a big effort to stop all of it. so. it was it was going to cause the world you know. and u.s. security simply has a different. as american border forces are more focused on drugs coming in then weapons going out traffickers have adopted their business model. official data about trafficking is hard to come by but some u.s. gun sellers have come to attention such as this store chain called academies. it keeps coming up as a purchasing point of weapons that happen trafficked to mexico u.s.
agencies are limited by law as to what data they can publish but in two thousand and eleven a spreadsheet was leaked with thousands of gun traces and academy sports features very prominently academy schools comes up to nearly one hundred traces some link to weapons recovered from the. now because the data is a bit old also conservation court documents and academy sports has come up again as a place where u.s. agencies have mounted an undercover investigation into the illegal sale of firearms . academy didn't respond to our interview requests but has denied any wrongdoing in previous statements adding that they have removed tactical weapons from open display. at the federal agency who investigated academy has agreed to see. it's called the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms a.t.f.
thanks jim very nice of you agents franco to go and we call strong work on cases that involve firearms trafficking this was one. that was seized in a recent investigation of this gun was bought by two u.s. citizens on behalf of a mexican cartel the investigation revealed a whole straw purchasing network but their charge was based on lying on the paperwork seven of them have been prosecuted. in federal court for providing false statements on the foreign transaction report so would you prosecuting them for the fact that they filled in the form wrongly correct there is currently no firearms trafficking statute that we can prosecute someone for in the absence of a targeted federal law traffickers get off with minimal or no punishment. nicole and friend take us along the route where weapons are trafficked south there
are fifty two border crossings between the us and mexico used by thousands of people every day this one connects brown's will with the city of my to morrows what we're looking at in terms of your work this is your frontline in spite of the message drive to increase border security the a.t.f. has seen a series of budget cuts and the number of agents has been substantially reduced president trump wants to build a wall to keep refugees and migrants out of the united states do you think such a wall could ever stop the flood of american weapons going into mexico that's not the trend that we're currently seeing is the focus in the cross-fire arms by crossing the river crossing in vehicles. through the international bridges what does it take to stop the weapons crossing the border what we could really use is the firearms trafficking statute because that would allow us to go after not only
the straw purchaser but the entire network of people that are getting these guns to arm a cartel. but some legal gun sales take place virtually outside the law. here in texas so-called private sale is concealed weapons without any background checks . many private specialist websites and i have made contact. a former texas law enforcement officer has agreed to help us since he still does private undercover work in his face went on to list there is actually somebody. is selling a rumanian a k six hundred fifty eight it's called the package it looks new the investigative takes over contact with the seller he will show us how easy it is to buy a weapon completely anonymous lee so you're texting with tom now they told. me it
was to. be a case that the vendor has at least four other rifles for sale but to me this is in the course of the more it was perfect conditions on the. call you were moved to set up with but. this fellow wants to meet at this service station a busy and public place he's waiting with the a k forty seven in the call we record the audiotape it's all the you know agree so it's not the right yes look no no just feature the extra bag. you have to tell it. very good you. within minutes the deal is done later in a private place we need to look at the purchase it's an eight k. forty seven the cartels favorite weapon of and that pretty extraordinary i mean this is a weapon that was designed for war and it took you about five minutes to buy it or
to get to me it was two minutes listen to did you at any point of time show identification did he ask anything about your second name no book who you were just of so i knows me it's very long it could be a quarter. to make sure the weapon doesn't end up in the wrong hands we decided to destroy it. so this kalashnikov actually broke the machine but as really hard actually really hard but nobody is going to shoot. this gun again that's for sure so what can american authorities do to keep track of firearms. our next stop is a thousand miles north in west virginia. it is here that the bureau of tobacco and firearms traces weapons found at crime scenes including those in mexico we do treat
us for firearms for anywhere from seventy five to one hundred point countries in twenty sixteen alone the a.t.f. traced nearly ten thousand weapons found in mexico back to dealers and owners in the u.s. but american law will stop neil from sharing details instead he takes us on a tour. what you'll see are or hallways and rows and rows of boxes u.s. laws only allow the agency to keep records from gun dealers who are no longer in business each month the a.t.f. receives around two million paper documents were simply prohibited from creating any kind of a searchable database why. is it if that's just the way the legislation is written. even record submitted by dealers in electronic format must be reversion . goes here or the immediate conversion group really is through the documents in
electronic form and what we do is take the. make in the image sort of that's not searchable and. that means you're taking something that was easily searchable electronically searchable and you make in a search harder yes that's what happens if investigators want to trace a gun from a crime scene in mexico or the u.s. a.t.f. employees must navigate amount of paperwork. you life is made so much more difficult all these laws that restrict how you can actually do your work who's responsible for those laws u.s. congress is responsible for for any of the. laws particularly the federal gun laws and it would be literally an act of congress if that were to be changed. washington the place to find out who really shapes us gun laws a group of congressmen is bringing a bill which could further limit the a.t.f. the ability to investigate trafficking. our interview requests to them have gone
unanswered so we try to find them in person congressman evan jenkins is the sponsor of the proposed new law. hi. i'm not from al-jazeera i'm actually looking for congressman jenkins his staff say they haven't received our e-mails and we have sent away. we go in search of the co-sponsors of the bill sorry are you working with congressman massie. so you can question to you know this congressman hyde says around today at the ready right now . we have records of our e-mails but it's the same everywhere i didn't get any requests real mystery cases or by ok we've put in a few requests we don't always get you know sometimes they don't do it might not in us they go to us and not ride so how is the press do we get in touch with you call out ok. but cool we did without results.
finally we are in luck hi good morning congressman and you are very well thank you we know that you're supporting this bill which cancels the multiple reporting requirement for assault rifles now the a.t.f. is saying that's one of the few tools that they have to stop trafficking in school purchasing can you just tell us why you support this second amendment is very clear limitation of the government's ability to regulate firearms and i think the second amendment speaks for itself i took an oath to run for congress to preserve protect and defend the constitution in that it was one of the ways of doing it but it helps to prevent a crime it helps to stop trafficking and straw purchasing congressman interested in stopping crime. this it into amendment of the us constitution guarantees americans the right to carry weapons. we know the congressman is due you had
a meeting so we waited again. congressman anything else be on the second amendment it's not the way. you cry if there is a bill yet that's an anti trafficking bill would you vote in favor of lack of. would you like to have can i show you haven't even gotten to. this afternoon ok thank you very much we will do that we cool congressman faran holds office several times they're all he never did provide a response. but evan jenkins despond solve the proposed law which would limit the a.t.f. investigative powers sent a written statement he says he wants to stop government intrusion into the lives of responsible gun owners. with president trump my wind power. trafficking has become much less likely to get passed. here he is addressing the twenty seven
thousand convention of the national rifle association who contributed over thirty million u.s. dollars to his campaign a rather true friend and champion in the white house no longer will federal agencies be coming after law abiding gun owners. moneys across the country trump urged him to construct the wool between mexico and the us . a promise president trump has vowed to deliver. that wall is going to help us very importantly with the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration the last was the drugs the gags the cartels the crisis of smuggling and trafficking. but do try and discipline to squid make their freedom to buy guns with the destruction suffered by mexico's people. america intends to keep drugs and.