- By Robert ZeligerRobert Zeliger is News Editor of Foreign Policy.
A new congressionally commissioned report has some interesting statistics on the weapons fueling Mexico’s ever-bloodier drug war, including this: 70 percent of the firearms recovered in Mexico originated in the United States. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are behind the report.
"Congress has been virtually moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States," Senator Feinstein said in a statement.
– 20,504 out 29,284 firearms recovered in Mexico in the past two years came from the U.S.
– 15,131 of those weapons were made in the U.S.
– 5,373 were foreign made but came through the U.S. (the remainder were of "undetermined origin").
– The firearms overwhelmingly came from the southwest U.S. The top three states were Texas (39 percent); California (20 percent); and Arizona (10 percent).
– 34,612 people have died in organized crime-related killings since Dec. 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office.
– 2010 was the bloodiest year yet in Mexico. Killings jumped 60 percent from the year before, with 15,273 people killed, up from 9,616.