6,500 People died in Mexico last year due to Drug Gang violence.
So far this year, things are on a pace to equal last year’s carnage.
By some estimates, nearly 90% of the high-tech weaponry , including Military Weapons – utilized by the Mexican Drug Cartels comes from guns shops in America, or are American weapons sold to Central American countries which have been purloined.
Now – the carnage is spreading to Jamaica – where US Guns shops are supplying 80% of the lethal weaponry.
Ships from Miami steam into Jamaica’s main harbor loaded with TV sets and blue jeans. But some of the most popular U.S. imports never appear on the manifests: handguns, rifles and bullets that stoke one of the world’s highest murder rates.
The volume is much less than the flow of U.S. guns into Mexico that end up in the hands of drug cartels — Jamaican authorities recover fewer than 1,000 firearms a year. But of those whose origin can be traced, 80 percent come from the U.S., Jamaican law enforcement officials have said in interviews with The Associated Press.
And as the Obama administration cracks down on smuggling into Mexico, Jamaicans fear even more firearms will reach the gangs whose turf wars plague the island of 2.8 million people.
“It’s going to push a lot of that trade back toward the Caribbean like it was back in the ’80s,” said Vance Callender, an attache at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
U.S. authorities are beginning to target the Jamaican gun-smuggling network as part of a broad effort to boost security in the Caribbean.
But they have a long way to go. Jamaican authorities have confiscated only 100 guns coming into ports in the last five years, along with 6,000 rounds of ammunition. That in turn is just a fraction of the 700 or so weapons confiscated on the streets each year.
Authorities know they’re only seeing “the tip of the iceberg,” said Mark Shields, Jamaica’s deputy police commissioner.
With arsenals to rival police firepower, the gangs are blamed for 90 percent of the homicides in Jamaica — 1,611 last year, about 10 times more than the U.S. rate, relative to population.
Unlike in Mexico, the vast majority of Jamaican guns seized are submitted for tracing. Jamaica and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives find most of the seized weapons come from three Florida counties — Orange, Dade and Broward — all with large Jamaican populations, according to Shields.
The old trilateral Slave Trade has indeed been replaced with “Guns for Ganja” and “Guns for Smack” with equally horrific results.