Jun 7, 2009

The Occasional Rocket Launcher

I just read Juan Carlos Llorca's story, "Mexico drug cartel's grenades from Guatemalan army" and all I can do is pick up my jaw as it drops at the sheer numbers of Guatemalan owned guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels:

"In the April weapons seizure, police also found eight anti-personnel mines, 11 M60 machine gus, bullet proof vests and two armored cars that investigators say belong to the Zetas, a group of assassins for Mexico's Gulf drug cartel...In March, Guatemalan authorities found a Gulf cartel training camp near the border with Mexico along with 500 grenades."

How exactly did the Guatemalan army not know this amount of weapons were missing, stolen or sold by a third party? What exactly is the oversight on the Guatemalan army and what processes could be put in place to ensure some amount of oversight to put some stop to the chain of events that results from it? Even in writing it, I know how complex things can get because the arms race is driven by the drug economy's supply and demand, and the oh so market economy's not so healthy competition to be the top seller by any means possible. 

Change has to start somewhere especially when you read this: "Mexican authorities say cartels get most of their high-caliber assault rifles from the U.S. but that they are turning to Central America for other military-grade weaponry like grenades and even the occasional rocket launcher." Come on, the occasional rocket launcher?

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