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U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico

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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 08:18 AM
Original message
U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico
TIJUANA, Mexico -- Assassins blasted Ricardo Rosas Alvarado, a member of an elite state police force, with a blizzard of bullets pumped out of AK-47 assault rifles.

Alvarado crumpled at the wheel of his sedan, yet another victim of the weapons known here as "goat's horns" because of their curved ammunition clips, and which can fire at a rate of 600 rounds per minute. The killing, Mexican authorities said, was a panorama of blood, shattered glass and torn metal that brutally showcased the firepower of Mexico's drug cartels. But that was just the warm-up.

Two hours later, a small army of cartel hit men descended on a federal police office and bunkhouse in this crowded city at one of the world's busiest border crossings. None of the officers, who had recently been sent here to crush the drug gangs terrorizing the city, were killed in the hail of more than 1,200 bullets, authorities said. But police veterans understood the message delivered to the newcomers: "Welcome to Tijuana. Our guns are bigger than your guns."

The high-powered guns used in both incidents on the evening of Sept. 24 undoubtedly came from the United States, say police here, who estimate that 100 percent of drug-related killings are committed with smuggled U.S. weapons.


The U.S. weapons -- as many as 2,000 enter Mexico each day, according to a Mexican government study -- are crucial tools in an astoundingly barbaric war between rival cartels that has cost 4,000 lives in the past 18 months and sent law enforcement agencies in Washington and Mexico City into crisis mode.

More at link:

Just one more reason why the war on drugs is now and forever will be a failure.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Ummm...automatic AK-47's (i.e., real ones, it sounds like) aren't available in the United States...
Edited on Mon Oct-29-07 09:39 AM by benEzra
outside of police/military duty, unless you first obtain Federal authorization (BATFE Form 4, a 6-month process), the gun must be purchased from a specially licensed NFA Title 2/Class III dealer, must be registered with the BATFE, and only those registered with the Federal government prior to 1986 can be sold to non-police/military. Expect to pay about $15,000 for a civilian-transferable AK-47 in the U.S., and the BATFE gets to inspect your paperwork once a year.

If the guns used in this murder were actual automatic AK-47's and not non-automatic civilian lookalikes, then they "undoubtedly" came from CENTRAL AMERICA, not the USA. Actual AK-47's, like all automatic weapons, are VERY tightly controlled here in the United States, but Central America is awash with them due to decades of Cold War proxy conflicts.

Also contrary to the article's implications, the 1994 Feinstein law that expired in 2004 did not affect the legality of U.S. civilian AK lookalikes; it merely required minor cosmetic changes that a non-aficionado wouldn't even notice:

...and pre-'94 were exempt even from those; magazine capacities were not affected. My own AK (a Romanian SAR-1) is a 2002 model that I purchased in 2003. Like all U.S. NFA Title 1 civilian AK's, my AK is non-automatic and fires no faster than an ordinary pistol or civilian autoloading rifle.

Some reporter didn't do their homework, and got spun...
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. They may not be the #1 black market export
But it would appear they do still exist here in the wild.

Arizona BEST is investigating two individuals who attempted to smuggle nine AK-47 assault rifles to Mexico. The two men left the United States and arrived in Mexico. A search of the vehicle by Mexican customs officials revealed smuggled weapons. The two subjects fled on foot back to the U.S. and were apprehended upon re-entry. Both men face weapons export charges.

I admit it seems odd, but I guess it just depends on what connections a person has.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Probably sloppy reporting...
A lot of reporters don't know the difference between a real AK-47 assault rifle and a non-automatic civilian lookalike, but the article in the OP clearly described automatic weapons as used in the murders. Possession of any automatic weapon (including an actual AK-47) outside of police/military/government duty is a 10-year Federal felony violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934, unless you first obtain a BATFE Form 4, and the registry was closed in 1986.

I own what some reporters would described as an "AK-47 assault rifle," but it's a non-automatic civilian carbine that looks, but does not function, like a real AK-47.

Civilian AK lookalike (Romanian SAR-1, 2002 model), non-automatic

It's functionally identical to a Ruger Mini Thirty deer rifle, not a military AK, but there are reporters who don't know the difference, and the writer of the OP article appears to be one such.

Smuggling non-automatic civilian AK's into Mexico would seem to be reminicent of the proverb about carrying coals to Newcastle, IMHO.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-29-07 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
3. Well, there WAS this illegal shipment of full-auto AKs into San Francisco in 1995
Customs intercepted the shipment, which came from China and was destined for street gangs, to make a long story short.

D'you think some corrupt foreign government officials are laundering full-auto weapons through American ports to sneak them to the Zetas and others south of our still somewhat porous border?
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