Mexico calls for swift investigation into the use of U.S. military weapons by drug cartels

MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s government is demanding an investigation into why drug cartels are in possession of U.S. military-grade weapons, according to several news sources. ABC News reports that Mexico is finding hundreds of belt-fed machine guns, rocket launchers and grenades that are not sold for civilian use in the United States.

“The (Mexican) Defense Department has warned the United States about weapons entering Mexico that are for the exclusive use of the U.S. army,” Foreign Relations Secretary Alicia Bárcena said. “It is very urgent that an investigation into this be carried out.”

Arms smuggling took center stage in discussions between U.S. and Mexican officials last week during a visit in Washington. Addressing the matter, Bárcena emphasized its significant concern, stating, “The issue of weapons is of utmost importance to us.”

In June, the Mexican army reported the seizure of 221 fully automatic machine guns, 56 grenade launchers, and a dozen rocket launchers from drug cartels since late 2018. This challenge compounds existing difficulties, as the military, police, and National Guard are already contending with cartels employing homemade armored vehicles and deploying drones equipped to drop bombs.

According to Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, 70% of weapons trafficked into Mexico originate in America. ABC News reports that cartels even openly boast about and showcase military-grade U.S. weaponry on social media.