Police are having a hard time hanging on to their guns: at both state and federal levels police officers and officials in prosecutors’ and attorney generals’ offices have lost nearly 13,000 firearms since 2006.
The federal Attorney General’s office reported the disappearance of 1,171 arms, the Federal Police 1,054, and 102 by the Center for Investigation and National Security (Cisen).
Members of the Federal Protection Service, responsible for the security of public officials, were best at hanging on to their weapons. They lost only 15.
The rest of the 12,878 missing guns, both handguns and rifles, were lost or stolen in all 32 states, but the majority disappeared in Mexico City, the State of México, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco. The last three represent regions of the country with strong a presence of established drug cartels and splinter groups.
The largest number of lost or stolen weapons was reported in Mexico City in 2009, when 800 arms went missing from local police stations. That was also the year in which the most guns vanished nationwide, a total of 2,081.
The data was obtained by the newspaper Milenio from the National Defense Secretariat through a freedom-of-information request.
Coincidentally, the Mexican government increased its imports of firearms by more than threefold in the first half of this decade. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) reports that Mexico’s arms imports grew by 331% between 2011 and 2015 when compared with the period 2006 to 2010.
Sipri attributed the sharp increase in imports to the war against drug cartels.
InSight Crime suggests the missing weapons were likely destined for the domestic black market and bought up by organized criminal networks. They might also have found their way into the hands of the armed vigilante groups operating in many parts of the country.
The crime research organization concluded that “the demand for guns has shot up parallel with the militarization of Mexico’s so-called ‘drug war,’” adding that the increase in weapons imports “shows that the Mexican government is arming up, not dialing it down.”
Source: Milenio (sp)