Violence in Mexico is largely fueled by the illegal entry of weapons from the United States, Interior Secretary Alfonso Navarrete Prida said yesterday.
The secretary’s assertion came in response to United States President Donald Trump’s use of new homicide statistics as justification for better border security.
Trump wrote in a tweet yesterday morning that “one of the reasons we need Great Border Security is that Mexico’s murder rate in 2017 increased by 27% to 31, 174 people killed, a record!”
At a later press conference, Navarrete Prida said that “if the United States shielded its border to stop the illegal entry of weapons and illicit money to Mexico, we would immediately see a dramatic fall in intentional homicides.”
He charged that criminal organizations in Mexico acquire the bulk of their weapons from north of the border and that the proceeds of crime they receive from the same source allow them to build up their arsenals.
“I agree that we have to protect the borders and above all, his [Trump’s] border so that neither weapons nor cash come into Mexico,” Navarrete Prida said.
He added that he asked for the United States’ support to stop the illegal flow of weapons into Mexico during a meeting in Washington D.C. Monday with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
The interior secretary argued that the United States has to see gun possession as a border security issue rather than through the prism of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, contending that if that doesn’t occur “it’s going to be very difficult for us to be able to contain the phenomenon of rising crime in a coordinated way.”
Navarrete Prida also proposed that United States authorities publicly announce on a weekly basis the measures that they are carrying out to combat binational arms trafficking.
The Interior Secretariat said in a statement that during Monday’s meeting, Navarrete Prida and Nielsen reached five agreements for bilateral cooperation that included the sharing of information aimed at stopping human trafficking and the exploration of ways to promote development in the region and to address the root causes of migration.
In a letter sent to Trump earlier this month, president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador also proposed that the migration problem be addressed “in a comprehensive manner through a development plan that includes Central American countries.”
Source: El Universal (sp)