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Arms Smugglers Will Be Brought to Justice in Both Mexico and the U.S.
January 26, 2022

  • As part of the Bicentennial Framework, our binational efforts aim to significantly increase the seizure of arms that fuel violence in Mexico and to prosecute those engaged in the smuggling of arms to Mexico.

  • Anyone who smuggles arms to Mexico will face the full force of the law in both countries.

    Today high-level officials from the governments of the United States and Mexico formally launched the Bicentennial Framework Binational Group Against Arms Smuggling. At the Mexican Foreign Ministry (SRE), both countries’ delegations highlighted that reducing the illegal flow of weapons from the United States is a key factor to ensuring peace and combatting organized crime in both countries.

    The Binational Group Against Arms Smuggling includes various security and law enforcement agencies from both countries. The main goal is to increase seizures of weapons – on both sides of the border – intended for illegal sale in Mexico and to bring to justice arms smugglers in both countries. The group committed to increase extraditions to both countries, speed up case processing, strengthen mirrored patrols on the border, work together to modernize border inspection technology, and improve information-sharing.

    The delegations agreed to bolster cooperation to increase the consequences of arms smuggling. “Anyone who smuggles arms will pay in both countries,” said Ken Salazar, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. “The instruction from Secretary Rosa Icela Rodriguez is to send a simple message: arms smugglers will face greater costs for their illicit actions in Mexico and the United States,” agreed Mexico’s Undersecretary of Public Security, Ricardo Mejia Berdeja.

    SRE’s Head of North American Affairs, Roberto Velasco, emphasized that “the strategic objective of binational cooperation follows a clear metric: that the number of arms confiscations – especially high-caliber ones – must significantly increase on both sides of the border.” U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs Bruce Swartz praised the bilateral intelligence-driven approach that is already leading to more illegal arms smugglers in prison — particularly those who smuggle military grade weapons on behalf of the cartels — and to better understanding and confronting the transnational black market. Miguel Ángel Méndez Buenos Aires, head of the Mexican Attorney General’s international affairs office, underscored the anti-arms smuggling cooperation between the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and Mexican various security agencies.