In the U.S., the question that arises after every tragic shooting or act of mass violence is ‘Why?’
After the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre shooting that killed 12 and wounded 59 two weeks ago, we asked ourselves, 'Why?'
After the gunning down of U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords and eighteen other people at a public meeting in a Safeway parking lot near Tucson, Arizona in 2011, we asked ourselves, 'Why?'
Why do people do these things? Why are so many military style guns and ammunition available to the assailants?
These are the same anguished questions being asked by our neighbors in Mexico.
In Mexico, massacres which receive relatively little press coverage, yet have become chillingly common, have left over 60,000 dead in the last six years. There an escalating war for control of drug routes and the profits generated by drug prohibition has created a huge market for guns.
And the awful, shocking answer to those 'Why?' questions is this: 70 percent of the guns that were recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing in the last three years came from the United States as a result of lax and poorly enforced gun and ammunition regulation laws.
Watch U.S. Guns: The Awful, Shocking Truth produced by the Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA) and Cuéntame. It illustrates how these guns are trafficked to Mexico, who profits from their sale, and what President Obama can do to stop this kind of trafficking.
Watch and share the video, and sign the petition to help end gun smuggling to Mexico.
In response to the tragedy in Mexico, the Peace Caravan to the United States will embark in less than two weeks on August 12th, arriving in San Diego and traveling to Washington, DC. Stay updated on the latest news from the Peace Caravan and if you can't join the route, please donate to support the work.
Human Rights Director
P.S. World Days of Action for Peace in Mexico are September 12-21, beginning on the caravan's last day in Washington, DC and continuing as caravaneros return home. The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity is asking for local actions in the U.S., Mexico, and around the world -- to keep on saying no to the drug war. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned.