Border between United States and Mexico

Norte, a Mexican newspaper that has been publishing for nearly 30 years, announced that it was shutting down, after three journalists from various news agencies were killed last month1. The effects of violence and gangs in parts of Mexico have led to this news organization’s concern over the safety of its reporters. Advocates for the removal of undocumented workers in the United States often cite the violence in Central America as justification for immigration control and fortification, while ignoring questions about the cause. The majority of the violence in the South and Central American countries, including the security problems that are ravishing several cities in Mexico, can all be traced back to the CIA, the funneling of drugs into America and the smuggling of firearms back across the border.

Gary Webb was a reporter who, during the mid 90s, brought to America the story of how the CIA was funneling drugs onto the streets of California. His Dark Alliance series of reports detailed how the US government was directly involved with crack-cocaine kingpin Freeway Rick Ross, as well as revelations that led to the exposure of the Iranian-Contra affair. His work would go on to inspire other journalists such as Michael Rupert, who continued to expose CIA involvement in drug trafficking well past the 1990s. Although these two journalists drew controversy from their reports and others have attempted to discredit them, their efforts brought about a plethora of evidence and testimony that cannot be easily dismissed.

Gun legislation within the United States makes tracking firearms very difficult. Current laws forbid any type of electronic records which includes searchable names of individual buyers2. Despite this difficulty, a 2009 report by the Associated Press showed that many illegal firearms in Mexico could be traced back to the United States. Several traces revealed guns were sold in border states, with more than half being purchases in Texas3.

The United States claims to have 88 guns per ever 100 resident4. Although many citizens may know a friend or two who are serious collectors, with fifty to a hundred firearms, the published statistics are still so unreal that people from other countries assumes almost every American on the street is carrying a firearm. Yes, Americans do own a lot of guns, yet many of these firearms on paper are finding their ways into conflict zones, both in South and Central America, and around the world. Members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun lobbies claim to fight for the protection of privacy and 2nd amendment rights when they fight against gun registration and searchable databases.

The lack of a registration system in America is beneficial for smuggling and distributing guns outside the country. It’s not a requirement, as the German company Heckler & Koch was caught distributing G36 firearms illegally to Mexico, violating their own War Weapons Control Act5. However, the lack of documentation for private gun sales does make this type of trade considerably easier to conceal in the US. NRA members believe their organization and other gun lobbies help protect their rights, but these groups also benefit the arms industry who make considerable profit from illegal arm sales.

The uncomfortable truth is that United States government, via the CIA and various intelligence agencies, has a vested interest in keeping their southern neighbors in continual conflict in order to exploit those countries for drugs and resources. To those who dismiss this as conjecture or unfounded, history stands to show a systematic pattern of abuse. On September 11th, 1973, the CIA backed a military coup to overthrow the democratically elected President Allende, leading to the deaths of over 3,000 civilians6. John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, claims that the CIA was behind the 2002 coupe against Hugh Chavez, the democratically elected President of Venezuela7. Then there is the United Fruit Banana Massacre, the Bay of Pigs, the School of the Americas, the Contras of Nicaragua … the list of American backed operations and atrocities is as long as you want to make it.

“You want to know what this was really all about? … The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” -John Ehrlichman8

Talk of a wall or fortification between America and its Southern neighbors is nothing but a smoke screen and a distraction. It will not curb any of the gun and drug trade because those industries are facilitated directly by people high up in the United States military and intelligence agencies. The violence will not end, because it is essential to sustaining American drug and firearm markets. The reality that many Americans simply refuse to acknowledge is that our country directly funds these violent enterprises to promote the growth of the US war industry at the expense of the freedom, safety and livelihoods of the innocent.

  1. Mexican Newspaper Shuts Down, Saying It Is Too Dangerous to Continue. 4 March 2017. Mele and Garcia. New York Times. 

  2. The Tracers - An inside look at the Real-Life Database of America’s Firearms. 2016. Brahms. (Documentary) 

  3. AP IMPACT: Mexico’s weapons cache stymies tracing. 7 May 2009. Castillo and Roberts. Associated Press. (Wayback Archive) 

  4. Countries with the most guns list has some surprises. 8 Jan 2016. Reuters. CBC News. 

  5. How German Firearms Ended Up at the Mexico Student Massacre. 5 February, 2016. Reischke. InSight Crime. 

  6. Sept. 11, 1973: A CIA-backed Military Coup Overthrows Salvador Allende, the Democratically Elected President of Chile. 11 September 2003. Goodwin. Democracy Now. 

  7. John Perkins - Confessions of an Economic Hitman. (Video) Retrieved 7 April 2017. 

  8. Legalize It All. April 2016. Baum. Harper’s Magazine.