News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

U.S. arms fuel Juárez battle

By Daniel Borunda / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 04/09/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT

A weapons arsenal, including two high-powered .50-caliber sniper rifles, seized by the Mexican army earlier this year in Juárez, was part of the illegal flow of firearms from the U.S. that authorities are attempting to halt, an ATF spokesman said Tuesday.

"We are trying to ease the violence. ... The violence (in Mexico) is with weapons coming from this country," said Special Agent Tom Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire arms and Explosives.

The latest case comes amid what a senior U.S. counter-drug official described as a battle for control of Juárez between the Sinaloa drug cartel and Juárez drug cartel, which has allied itself with a faction of the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, an assassins group founded by Mexican army deserters.

ATF officials said that Mexican soldiers seized 25 rifles, including the .50-caliber rifles, plus five pistols, body armor and ammo on Feb. 13 at safe house in the Pradera Dorada area of Juárez.

The ATF traced some of the weapons to "straw purchases," or firearms bought by one person for someone else, in Arizona.

Last week, ATF agents in Arizona arrested Victor Varela, the alleged leader of the gun-trafficking ring suspected of supplying weapons -- as well as attempting to buy an automatic M-60 machine gun -- to the Juárez cartel in Palomas, Mexico, the ATF stated.

The Arizona Republic reported that the .50-caliber rifles were bought in Maricopa County and that the ring's "moneyman has since been dismembered."

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