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Alex Yablon, The Trace
October 29, 2019

Mexican authorities were outgunned by criminal cartels in two notable incidents this month. In both cases, the criminals were armed with high-powered .50-caliber firearms. Often, the weapons come from the United States, where civilian sales of high-caliber sniper rifles are unregulated in all but three states. The weapons are not legally sold to civilians in Mexico, but they end up in the country as a result of weapons trafficking or American arms exports to the Mexican government.

The Mexican Army recovered 554 .50-caliber firearms from 2010 to 2018, according to data that activists obtained through public records requests to the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA).

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