05/30/11 – Civil organizations in Mexico and the United States are working together to urge President Obama to stop the southbound flow of arms from the U.S. across the border into Mexico. This campaign has become known as “Alto al Contrabando de Armas” (A Stop to the Smuggling of Arms) and it seeks to significantly reduce drug violence in Mexico, as well as increase security in the border region. Some of the main organizations leading this movement are Alianza Cívica (Civic Alliance), Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (Cencos), Evolución Mexicana (Mexican Evolution), and Propuesta Cívica (Civic Proposal). According to Milenio, from 2004 to 2008, 84% of weapons found in crime scenes in Mexico were imported from the U.S.
There are three main policies that the campaign “Alto al Contrabando de Armas” has proposed. The first policy calls for the “immediate detention and prohibition of imported arms into the U.S.” The second policy calls on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to closely monitor people who are buying multiple arms at once. Salesmen are urged to report to the ATF when such an instance occurs. The last policy involves giving the ATF an increased role in border state regions so that they can better regulate the arms that are brought into Mexico. Sergio Aguayo, an academic and head of the Alianza Cívica, has stated that although these efforts will not end violence, they will have a significant positive impact on reducing the amount of violence that Mexico experiences and it will make it harder for organized crime groups to equip themselves with such high powered weapons.