Monday, November 24, 2014

Guns in El Salvador

The British NGO Action on Armed Violence published a report on guns in El Salvador. It takes pains to explain how many different sources of guns that exist, but one inescapable conclusion is that the United States is directly responsible for many of them. By funding the Salvadoran civil war in the 1980s, the U.S. was responsible for sending thousands of weapons--some very powerful--to the country. More recently, the massive gun trade in the United States has brought even more guns into El Salvador. (We can thank Cuba as well, because it funneled many to the FMLN.)

So El Salvador is hit both ways. The United States has a long history of intervening, then leaving countless guns post-conflict that make their way into criminals' hands. That's true in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Additionally, it is hit by the gun trade, which is currently a major problem for Mexico, which unlike El Salvador has strict gun control laws. It's not clear how you even begin to address the problem.


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