Home Headlines The other face of illegal immigration: “Arms trafficking from the U.S. to México, Part 3”

The other face of illegal immigration: “Arms trafficking from the U.S. to México, Part 3”

by sanmigueltimes
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Arms trafficking, also known as gunrunning, is the trafficking of contraband weapons and ammunition. What constitutes legal trade in firearms varies widely, depending on local and national laws. This is the third and last part of a series of an investigation conducted and originally published by news.vice.com media outlet, in which this criminal activity is exposed. The San Miguel Times presents this series, unveiling that large quantities of arms are being transferred from the United States to the developing world.

Click here for PART 1 and PART 2 of “Arms trafficking from the U.S. to México” .

Mexico City was more or less excempt of “the Drug war” terror during the early years. The general perception of the society is that the capital of the country was safe from the spiral of violence that spread throughout other states. But this situation has been gradually changing in the last four years.

The first alert came on in May 2013, when a criminal armed group kidnapped 13 young people that were inside “Heaven”, a night club located in “Zona Rosa” (a mid town neighborhood that lived its splendor in the 70s).

Three months later their remains were found in a clandestine grave of the neighboring State of Mexico. The investigation pointed that this massive kidnapping and murder was the result of a settling of scores, as a consequence of the struggle between two criminal groups for drug dealing turf control.

This incident was followed by others that don’t usually occur in the capital, either a body hanging from a bridge with traces of torture in October 2015, two human heads abandoned on the street in May 2016 or a multi-homicide in a middle-class neighborhood in July 2105.

This last case received a wide coverage by Mexican media, because two of the victims were identified as the photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and activist Nadia Vera, who had accused the Governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, to have threatened them with death. As we all know, Duarte was accused for organized crime, became a fugitive of the law for more than 6 month and was finally detained in Guatemala.

Some of the weapons that “Chester” has on display portrait different inscriptions and metal inlays:

Handgun with the face of "Chucky" (Photo: Daniele Giacometti/VICE News).
Handgun with the map of Sinaloa (Photo: Daniele Giacometti/VICE News).
Handgun with the "Caballeros Templarios" cartel coat of arms (Photo: Daniele Giacometti/VICE News).


Entrepreneurs of Mexico City’s Historical Center recently denounced that the downtown area is currently threatened by at least seven organized crime groups which are dedicated to drug dealing, extortion, kidnapping and robbery, and fighting each other for turf control. All this criminal activity takes place on a daily basis, just within a few meters from the National Palace, the seat of political power in Mexico.

Furthermore, there are reports of restaurant and bar owners that have been threatened by criminal groups, and must pay a quota for “use rights” to operate in the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, two of the most cosmopolitan in the city.

The city government insists on denying the presence of organized crime despite there is clear evidence. The data, however, reflects that tranquility in certain “uptown” areas of Mexico City is a thing of the past. The number of homicides went from a monthly average of 62 cases in 2013, to 76 in 2016, which means a 20 percent increase in just three years.

As a result of the increase in insecurity, Chester’s clientele are no longer just criminals; now we’re talking about business owners, doctors, lawyers, engineers and ordinary citizens tired of being victims of crime.

Santa Lucía, Estado de México militar facility. (Photo: Daniele Giacometti/VICE News)

Santa Lucía, Estado de México militar facility. (Photo: Daniele Giacometti/VICE News)

– Have you noticed an increase in the demand for weapons?

Yes, most of my clients are business owners and professionals now… all of them want to “carry a piece” these days… many people in this have been through “bad experiences”, and now they want to protect themselves.

The interview comes to and end. We will never find out who will be the purchaser of that Smith & Wesson pistol and what it will be used for; Chester did not want to reveal his client’s identity, but the fact is, that the gun will probably be used tomorrow to commit a crime… to kill a person with the same ease with which someone bought it in an American armory, crossed the border and brought it to Colonia Valle Gómez in Mexico City, and just as easy as Chester got it a few days ago… he will place it on the hands of a potential murderer.

Source: https://news.vice.com/

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