US guns help fuel El Salvador's violence
There were 4279 murders committed with firearms in El Salvador during 2016. That was 81% of all murders committed. When a gun is the murder weapon, chances are the gun originated in the United States.
An article at The Trace titled American Guns Drive the Migrant Crisis That Trump Wants to Fix With a Wall, argues that lax US gun control policies fuel both violence in Central America and the migrant crisis formed of persons fleeing that same violence. Trump's commitment to gun rights may be working at cross purposes with his goal to shut down migration from south of the US border.
|Weapons seized by Salvadoran
police on May 23
The article describes the smuggling networks which buy guns at US gun shops and move the guns south towards Central America:
Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador each tightly restricts civilian gun ownership. The smaller Central American nations have no domestic firearms industries to speak of. But over the past few decades, guns have poured into the region, sourced from the vast civilian gun market in the United States and smuggled to Central America in the trunks of cars or sneaked into packages alongside common household items. In one recent bust, an Ohio gun shop owner was caught selling dozens of guns — including 62 Barrett .50 caliber rifles, the same weapons used by Navy SEAL snipers, at approximately $8,000 apiece — to a group who drove them down to McAllen, Texas, and across the Rio Grande.
Played out by hundreds of similar trafficking syndicates, such schemes form a trans-border, southbound equivalent to the “Iron Pipeline,” the busy smuggling route from states in the American South with loose gun laws to states like New York that more strictly regulate firearms.
As many as a quarter to half of all guns seized by police in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador and submitted for tracing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are sourced to the United States — a total of 5,928 firearms in 2014 and 2015 alone, easily making America the single largest source of weapons in these countries.Read the rest of the article here.