Here’s an interview I had some months ago with Iain Overton from the Action on Armed Violence [(AOAV), which has a central mission: to carry out research, advocacy and field work in order to reduce the incidence and impact of global armed violence. For more on the organization click here. -Molly
In focus: Molly Molloy, Border and Latin America Specialist at New Mexico State University
AOAV: [Would] you say that small arms and guns have been a constant backdrop to your view of Latin American politics and immigration?
Molly Molloy: I believe that, in terms of the numbers of guns in Mexico now, many of them have kind of an origin in the United States, but not a recent origin. They come from the United States, going back 25 years to the Nicaraguan Contra war and to the military campaigns in El Salvador and Guatemala – mostly funded by the US. And I really believe that a lot of the guns that are on the black market these days that turn up in the hands of criminal organizations all over the hemisphere, and certainly in El Salvador and in Mexico nowadays, are remnants of that period. In other words, they’re guns that were shipped into these places legitimately and then got into the hands of criminal groups through military deserters and these illicit groups of fighters like the group of Guatemalan soldiers that supposedly became the Zetas…