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Old April 4, 2011, 09:32 AM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Interesting Diplomatic Cable

http://laht.com/article.asp?Category...ticleId=390473

The Latin American Herald Tribune is reporting that one of the Wikileaks cables has revealed that a U.S. diplomatic cable from 2009-2010 asserts that something like 90% of the firearms used by Mexican drug cartels come from Central America rather than the United States.

It struck me as an interesting story since it seems to suggest that at the same time DOJ officials and President Calderon were blaming United States gun shops for arming the cartels, our own diplomats were acknowledging that the real problem was coming from somehwere else.

Combine this with the Gunwalker scandal and even the most cynical observer of government starts looking like an optimist.
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Old April 4, 2011, 12:22 PM   #2
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As a former boss liked to point out, everything you read in the media is true ... unless you have first-hand knowledge of the facts.
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Old April 4, 2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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I'm torn between leaving this as is or merging it into the Gunwalker thread.

Mostly because there are implications for the "padding" of stats via the ATF's handling of the scandle. Several others have made this tenuous connection.

Under the assumption that this is a separate topic, then the State Dept had to have known, while the DOJ and the President were saying otherwise. This stinks of coverup by Sec. of State, Hillary. It also explains Hillary's non-actions to throwing Holder and Obama "under the bus."
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Old April 4, 2011, 01:56 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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Merge it if you need to... I couldn't decide where it fit either since it has obvious implications for Gunwalker; but at the same time it wasn't a direct connection.

But on its face, it looks a lot like the Department of State was under the impression that the real problem was Central America, even as President Obama, President Calderon and the Secretary of State were blaming U.S. FFLs.
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Old April 4, 2011, 02:11 PM   #5
pnac
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Do Central American countries put a serial number on their firearms like the US does? I ask because the "90% (or whatever) of all guns used by Mexican drug cartels came from the US" number came from tracing serial numbers.

In other words, no serial # equals no country of origin, especially if an agenda may be being pushed.
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Old April 4, 2011, 04:47 PM   #6
carguychris
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Quote:
Do Central American countries put a serial number on their firearms like the US does? I ask because the "90% (or whatever) of all guns used by Mexican drug cartels came from the US" number came from tracing serial numbers.
I'm not sure you realize how misleading the 90% figure is in the first place.

IIRC 90% of the guns submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing were traced to U.S. FFLs. However, the underlined part is crucial. A large proportion of the weapons seized from Mexican drug cartels (the exact percentage varies according to the source you read) have had the markings removed and/or are obviously from military sources. For instance, full-auto Kalashnikovs wearing 1960s era Soviet markings- guns that were never officially imported to the USA, but were given away in huge numbers to left-wing movements around the world during the Soviet era, or were sold to Third World countries at fire-sale prices by Eastern European countries desperate for cash following the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Many of the guns seized from the cartels are former American military weapons given to the Mexican government and subsequently carried off by Mexican soldiers who have gone AWOL and joined the cartels for the more lucrative pay.

There would be no point in submitting these types of weapons for tracing, so the Mexican government cherry-picks the ones they think will yield a "hit".

FWIW I'm sure the Central American weapons had serial numbers, but they're military serial numbers as these were originally military weapons. These are not guns that were sold to civilians legally and then illegally exported like the "Gunwalker" weapons; it's already illegal for civilians in most of these countries to own these types of guns.
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Old April 4, 2011, 05:09 PM   #7
Tom Servo
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Just a heads-up: I have been unable to locate the cable upon which the article is based. Apparently, the ID for it is 09MEXICO0808, but it doesn't seem to exist.

The closest one I could locate was 10MEXICO77, which has this bit:

Quote:
The Ground Truth: Laws Not Enough

¶3. (SBU) Each country highlighted internal controls that regulate
the sale, distribution, and transport of weapons and ammunition,
drawing attention to sanctions against the unlawful transport of
weapons across any national boundary. Unfortunately, our visit to
three border crossings between Guatemala and Mexico in Chiapas
revealed neither country presently works seriously to enforce these
laws.

¶4. (SBU) At the first border crossing in Talisman, Chiapas, the
conference participants witnessed almost as many individuals
crossing the border illegally as legally.
That's not too encouraging, either.
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Old April 4, 2011, 05:53 PM   #8
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
Wikileaks cables has revealed that a U.S. diplomatic cable from 2009-2010 asserts that something like 90% of the firearms used by Mexican drug cartels come from Central America rather than the United States.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and state that the Brady Campaign isn't going to pick up this nugget of truth and run with it like they did with 90% of "traceable" firearms came from the USA bit.
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Old April 6, 2011, 09:09 AM   #9
flightline
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The article does not say "90% of firearms." It says "90% of the heavy armament . . ."

In fact it says, "The cable, which does not offer any particulars or supporting documentation, does acknowledge that the vast majority of the handguns and many of the assault rifles used by the cartels enter Mexico from the United States."

This hardly seems like that much of a departure from the official line, unless there are more specifics than mentioned in the article.

Edit: The newspaper that this and other articles cite is itself citing cable 09MEXICO3108, but that doesn't seem to exist on either the current wikileaks server or it's mirrors.

Last edited by flightline; April 6, 2011 at 09:22 AM.
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