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The connections between American guns and the migrant crisis

What role do guns from the United States play in the ongoing crisis of gun violence in Mexico? 

According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, at least 70 percent of firearms found in crime scenes in Mexico can be traced back to the neighbors to the north.

Some 250,000 people crossed the southern border into the U.S. in December of last year. The majority of those were people from Mexico.

And survey data pulled by Reuters from the Kino Border Initiative, a large migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico, shows that violence, not economic factors, is forcing many families to leave Mexico.

How can understanding the violence in Mexico help us understand the migrant crisis? And what work is being done to stop the flow of guns into Mexico?

Ieva Jusionyte is an anthropologist and former paramedic. She’s also the author of “Exit Wounds: How America’s Guns Fuel Violence across the Border.” We sit down with her, Angela Kocherga of KTEP in El Paso, and John Lindsay-Poland of Stop US Arms to Mexico to talk about this issue.

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Arfie Ghedi