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tv   Americas Guns Arming Mexicos Cartels  Al Jazeera  August 19, 2018 8:32am-9:01am +03

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more rescue equipment is needed in the indian state of cattle allowed for hundreds of thousands of people remain stranded by floods at least three hundred twenty four people have died the government has pledged seventy one million dollars in aid. ecuador's government has tightened requirements for venezuelans to enter the country they must now have a passport previously only had to have a national id many venezuelans have sought to flee the country is the economic crisis there deepens. rival protests have taken place in nicaragua as capital both for and against the government of daniel ortega opponents accuse him of using heavy handed tactics to crackdown on demonstrators more than three hundred people have been killed since april and those that had lines the news continues here on al-jazeera after people in power by foot. the philippines is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. now private
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corporations are capitalizing on the chaos. when east investigates on al-jazeera. the u.s.a.'s constitutionally in trying to love affair with firearms has given it the highest levels of private gun ownership in the world and a truly staggering rate of gun related homicides but it isn't just the u.s. that's felt the effects south of the border in mexico american sourced weapon the supply did that country's drug use giuliana rivers has been to investigate.
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this is a shooting range in the southern united states. here in texas shooting is a popular and competitive sport ok you're reading it's my first time shooting a gun magazine goes in a church shoulder correctly. it's an assault rifle designed for wolf in. their churches shot night at five o'clock so it would have taken this person out you know she would be dead. today an estimated two hundred seventy million guns are privately owned in the united states shooting ranges and gun shops everywhere and the arms industry is a multi-billion dollar business but only a few miles south across the border in mexico u.s. sourced firearms are having
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a deadly effect. we have come to investigate how mexican drug cartels exploit weak u.s. gun laws to arm themselves with american weapons. our journey begins in a hotel in the northern mexican state of tamaulipas. we have a range to meet a group of people whose family members have gone missing it's not known whether they're living or dead the presence of drug cartels on the streets makes it too dangerous to meet them in an outside location along with me is that in the that are on the committee this that that is a thirty day you're not. minimal in the in the in in the. see monitors arms does that. mean yes it is. but the odds of finding a family member
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a life alone. since two thousand and four well over one hundred fifty thousand people have been killed in mexico's so-called war on drugs. here in town my only purpose the gulf cartel and the last that has cartel and a violent battle over the control of lucrative drug routes. civilians are often forced to take sides or end up in the crossfire most. of them with locals. so the most effective than this busy doing is receiving he carries tunnels through his windows broken muscles in the roof and. many bodies haven't yet been found because it's too dangerous for investigators to search the bodies they do get found and up here is that. the state attorney general's office in the forensic autopsy center. so when did this body of arrive at the work we were more.
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at in the morning if. the bullet traveled at such high speed it continued to move once inside the body it was fired from an assault rifle like the a k forty seven or a or fifteen the cartels favorite weapons. faced with such deadly firepower the mexican police have taken on a paramilitary appearance kept in edgar valley who has agreed to show me what his officers have to deal with when battling heavily armed drug cartels. we've arrived here at a peak in the violence since april twenty seventh teen close to one hundred people have been killed in. including several police so they are on high alert is this how you normally travel a convoy we never know what is going to be on the racial. this streets look deceptively quiet but it's in transit we're most attacks. you can see the normal
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people walking in and you never know who is walking yeah so everybody could be a cartel of exactly the impact of the cartels gun battles is clearly visible in residential areas. because of the bullets over the walls were. before because those were inside the. start of. the time there were like nine people killed. the violence has forced civilians from their homes. to housing to places that were that they have decided to leave because of the violent because of a bias rather go to another state. or the united states nor to keep better life. next that god takes us to the cities jail he wants to show us that the cartels weapons are everywhere barely two months before our visit to
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jail was home to a massive dry it. it's alleged that the weapons were smuggled in with the help of corrupt prison guards. they had more than i would say like six thousand bullets inside what weapons to help long guns just so similar to the owner of the war and certainly we've had some guns but for dinner we know that there are many guns inside that we don't know where the hey here and you know during the raid seven people were killed four were inmates but also three police officers from team and we got close. as i got a. problem you're saying they still have guns inside. they will be able to see. and who controls the other side we also right now we also are the other so i am very glad to see the charge over
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controlling our. mexico is very prescriptive gun laws and weapons such as these are only legal in the hands of security forces yet the cartels seem to phrase no shortage of firepower. but i think if they're. going to. do you sometimes feel that the cartels the other side is better equipped than you are. for them of a sudden. just going to go. you know that it will be a. very little got to go he says. and i mean so when i got of what we're going to do we use that. these
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weapons have been collected by mexican security forces from crime scenes the cartels obtain firearms from a number of sources including neighboring countries in china but out of the serial numbers submitted to american authorities for tracing seventy percent track to purchases from u.s. gun shops. to take them out of circulation the time i would replace government organizes regular destructions. the legal flow of weapons across the border is a sensitive issue mexico and the u.s. are heavily invested in trade but it will be a victim i will say in the governor's chief of staff is in regular talks with his us clearly you know that i'm the last one of them but the young fellow who knew the sims bill you could have been some of them. most or all over in prime. are you that they specifically in what ways do you think the americans could tell you in their
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gun legislation to stop the flood of weapons coming across the border or you're meant in. this area was going also in the. most but on for both the wall or fence or in. a better one. because because i'm we rewarded for this when. we leave to follow the gun smuggling route back north the authorities insist that we travel with an escort as the closer you get to the us the more dangerous it becomes we've just reached the border city of reynosa and we've been told categorically that we can still hear the cartels are fighting each other and dad with the security forces . and then we reach the call of the border queues. on the other side it's in the world here in the city of macallan it's much more
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peaceful but certainly guns are a common sight their number nearly five thousand the highest for any american state this is the real deal right here this is all the automatic a k forty seven it looks ugly it sounds ugly. in scares people of course this is the guy that most of the bad people in mexico like. mildred darrow is a federally licensed firearms dealer we have to find out how traffickers manage to purchase weapons intakes in gun store if somebody comes in and once to buy a weapon from you what are you required to do by law when you're never filled you know you can only sell to people in your state they have to show some kind of proof of id they want to be ok this is called the fore. or seventy three and they're going to ask you are you the actual don they're going to ask you are you
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under indictment have you ever been convicted all these kind of questions can they lie yes they can they can lie in the form. because suppliers must show identification mexican cartels commission locals to buy weapons on their behalf it's cool to strew purchase since twenty eleven gun dealers must notify the authorities of multiple sales of the gun it's a regulation introduced by the obama administration to make it easier to spot straw purchases if you buy rifles there or magazine fed. twenty two in caliber you have to do a multiple sale for those two. but since president trumps election gun owners think tighter regulation is a thing of the post it's been very very slow i love donald trump. i love donald trump but now that trump was on everybody's happy that guns are
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not going to go away and one is buying anything so. we want to hear the traffic is sullied and the law enforcement officer has put us in touch with the mexican police informant this man used to work for the gulf cartel can you describe to me how the cartels operating the weapons trafficking from the u.s. into mexico it's almost. you know sort of sort of mom you. know all of us are muslim if you what about the mexican security forces do they make a big effort to stop all of it. so. it's . almost always looking towards the world you know.
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and u.s. security simply has a different. as american border forces are more focused on drugs coming in then weapons going out traffickers have adopted their business model. official data about trafficking is hard to come by but some us have come to attention such as this store chain called academies. it keeps coming up as a purchasing point of weapons that have been trafficked to mexico u.s. agencies are limited by law as to what data they can publish but in two thousand and eleven a spreadsheet with thousands of gun traces and academy sports features very prominently academy school it comes up a nearly one hundred traces some link to weapons recovered from the. now because the data is a bit old also conservation court documents and academy sports has come up again as
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a place where u.s. agencies have mounted an undercover investigation into the illegal sale of firearms . academy didn't respond to our interview requests but has denied any wrongdoing in previous statements adding that they have removed tactical weapons from open display. but the federal agency who investigated academy sports has agreed to. hi it's called the bureau of alcohol tobacco and firearms a.t.f. thanks jim very nice of you agents franco to go and we call strong work on cases that involve firearms trafficking this was one. that was seized in a recent investigation of this gun was bought by two u.s. citizens on behalf of a mexican cartel the investigation revealed a whole straw purchasing network but their charge was based on lying on the
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paperwork seven of them have been prosecuted. in federal court for providing false statements on foreign transaction so what you're prosecuting them for is the fact that they filled in the form wrongly correct there is currently no firearms trafficking statute that we can prosecute someone for in the absence of a targeted federal law traffickers get off with minimal or no punishment. nicole and friend take us along the route where weapons are trafficked south there are fifty two border crossings between the u.s. and mexico used by thousands of people every day this one connects brown's will with the city of my to morrows what we're looking at in terms of your work this is your frontline in spite of the massive drive to increase border security the a.t.f. has seen a series of budget cuts and the number of agents has been substantially reduced
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president trump wants to build a wall to keep refugees and migrants out of the united states do you think such a wall could ever stop the flood of american weapons going into mexico that's not the trend that we're currently seeing is the focus in the cross-fire arms by crossing the river crossing vehicles. through the international bridges what does it take to stop the weapons crossing the border we could really use as a firearms trafficking statute because that would allow us to go after not only the straw purchaser but the entire network of people that are getting these guns to arm a cartel. but some legal gun sales take place virtually outside the law. here in texas so-called private sale is concealed weapons without any background checks. many private specialist websites and i have made contact.
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a former texas law enforcement has agreed to help us since he still does private undercover work in his face went on to list there is actually somebody. is selling a rumanian a k six hundred fifty eight it's called the package it looks new the investigator takes over contact with the seller he will show us how easy it is to buy a weapon completely anonymous lee so you're texting with toll now told that it was only interested in the a.k.a. the vendor has at least four other rifles for sale but to me it's in the course of the more it was perfect conditions on the. call you were moved to set up with but. this seller wants to meet at this service station a busy and public place he's waiting with the a k forty seven in the call we
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recalled the ordeal. it's our girl you know agree it's not the right yes look no no just chief the extra bag. you have to tell it. very good you. within minutes the deal is done later in a private place we need to look at the purchase it's an a k forty seven the cartels favorite weapon of and that pretty extraordinary i mean this is a weapon that was designed for war and it took you about five minutes to buy it or to get to me it was two minutes listened to did you at any point of time show identification did he ask anything about your second name no book who you where it was just so but knows me it's very long it could be a quarter. to make sure the weapon doesn't end up in the wrong hands we decided to
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destroy it. so this kalashnikov actually broke the machine but as really hard actually really hard but nobody is going to shoot. this gun again that's for sure so what can american authorities do to keep track of firearms. our next stop is a thousand miles north in west virginia. it is here that the bureau of tobacco and firearms traces weapons found at crime scenes including those in mexico we do treat us for firearms for anywhere from seventy five to one hundred foreign countries in twenty sixteen alone the a.t.f. traced nearly ten thousand weapons found in mexico back to dealers and owners in the u.s. but american laws stop neil from sharing details instead he takes us on a tour. what you'll see are or hallways and rows and rows of
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boxes u.s. laws only allow the agency to keep records from gun dealers who are no longer in business each month the a.t.f. receives around two million paper documents were simply prohibited from creating any kind of a searchable database why. is it that that's just the way the legislation is written. even records submitted by dealers in electronic format must be reversion and. guys here are the immediate conversion group pretty soon the documents in electronic form and what we do is take the. macon the image sort of that's not searchable and. that means you're taking something that was easily searchable electronically searchable and you make in a search harder yes that's what happens if investigators want to trace a gun from a crime scene in mexico or the u.s. a.t.f. employees must navigate amount of paperwork. and your life is made so much
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more difficult all these laws that restrict how you can actually do your work who's responsible for those of those u.s. congress is responsible for for any of the. laws particularly the federal gun laws and it would be literally an act of congress if that were to be changed. washington the place to find out who really shapes us gun laws a group of congressmen is bringing a bill which could further limit the a.t.f. the ability to investigate trafficking. our interview requests to them have gone unanswered so we try to find them in person congressman evan jenkins is the sponsor of the proposed new law. hi. i'm not from al-jazeera i'm actually looking for congressman jenkins his staff say they haven't received our e-mails and we ascend to way. we go in search of the
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co-sponsors of the bill sorry are you working with congressman massie. so you can click continue this congressman hyde says around today here at the ready right now . we have records of our e-mails but it's the same everywhere i didn't get it because we are mistreated as directed by ok we've put in a few requests we don't always get you know sometimes they don't do it might not you must like to go to this ride so how is the press do we get in touch with you call out ok. but cool we did without results. finally we are in luck hi good morning congressman and you are very well thank you we know that you're supporting this bill which cancels the multiple reporting requirement for assault rifles now the a.t.f. is saying that's one of the few tools that they have to stop trafficking in school purchasing can you just tell us why you support this second amendment is very clear
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limitation of the government's ability to regulate foreigners and i think the second amendment speaks for itself i took an oath when i ran for congress to preserve protect and defend the constitution in this bill is one of the ways of doing it but it helps to prevent a crime it helps to stop trafficking and straw purchasing congressman interested in stopping crime. this is in demand member of the u.s. constitution guarantees americans the right to carry weapons. we know the congressman is due you had a meeting so we waited again. congressman anything else be on the second amendment is not the way. you can cry if there is a bill yet that's an anti trafficking bill would you vote in favor of lack of. would you like to have can i show it to you we haven't even i got it. this afternoon ok thank you very much we will do that we cooled congressman faran holds
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office several times they're all he never did provide a response. but evan jenkins despond solve the proposed law which would limit the a.t.f. investigative powers sent a written statement he says he wants to stop government intrusion into the lives of responsible gun owners. with president trump my wind power. trafficking has become much less likely to get post. here he is addressing the twenty seven thousand convention of the national rifle association who contributed over thirty million u.s. dollars to his campaign rather true friend and champion in the white house no longer will federal agencies be coming after law abiding gun owners. moneys across the country trumpeters has urged him to construct a wool between mexico and do us. a promise president trump has vowed to
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deliver. that wall is going to help us very importantly with the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration the last was the drugs that gags the cartels the crisis of smuggling and trafficking. but do try and discipline to squid make their freedom to buy guns but the destruction suffered by mexico's people. if america intends to keep drugs and migrants out it should get tougher on weapons going in. for now the families of the disappeared and waiting for the violence to end. they want to search for their loved ones to finally begin.
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desperate for a better life millions of people have sought refuge in europe sometimes their dreams of sanctuary are realized but sometimes disenchantment and hostility drives them home in the first of two films on these contrasting experiences people in power goes to the north german city where humane approach to integration is proving surprisingly effective. assimilation nation on al-jazeera. when people need to be heard. but it's been for a few jomo soldier's life it's not the normal live show and the story needs to be told to do stories that have been passed all suspect i testify in the court of law to make sure that the bad guys a thought behind that al-jazeera has teams on the ground to bring new documentaries
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