Mexican authorities are blaming firearms purchases in the United States for the gun violence that has ravaged the country, reports National Public Radio. More than 5,000 people were murdered in Mexico last year, and 95 percent of the weapons recovered from those killings were traced back to the U.S., authorities say. That’s largely because it’s easier to buy guns in the U.S. and smuggle them across the border than it is to get them in Mexico.
“I’ll tell you something with all due respect: The problem of violence in Mexico starts in the United States when someone buys a weapon, and their intent is that it’s going to Mexico,” says Abel Murrieta-Guttierez, attorney general of the Mexican state of Sonora. ATF Agent Bill Newell says that drugs coming north and guns and ammunition going south has been fueling a war between drug cartels and law enforcement. Newell he says the guns are coming from all over the U.S., with some purchased on the black market and at gun shows, but most coming from licensed dealers. In Arizona and Texas, any adult with a valid ID and no criminal record can buy as many guns as he or she wants.