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Press Releases - 2008

Our Continued Efforts Will Deny Firearms to Criminal Organizations and Reduce Gun Violence

Mexico City, January 16, 2008

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

“Today I am announcing that the U.S. government is increasing its ongoing efforts to stem the illegal flow of firearms to Mexico, to deprive drug trafficking organizations of firearms and to reduce gun-related violence on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

“As part of Project Gunrunner, announced today by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), eTrace technology will be used in all nine U.S. consulates in Mexico to help trace firearms. Using eTrace technology bolsters the capacity of law enforcement agencies to identify patterns of drug traffickers and other criminal organizations bringing guns into Mexico from the United States. In addition, eTrace assists criminal investigators to develop leads and prosecute firearms traffickers and straw purchasers (people who knowingly purchase guns for prohibited persons) even before they cross the border.

“The eTrace technology was recently installed in U.S. consulates in Monterrey, Hermosillo and Guadalajara, with additional deliveries to all the remaining U.S. consulates in Mexico planned by March 2008. We also are in discussions with the government of Mexico to create a Spanish-language version of eTrace for use by law enforcement agencies in Mexico.

“Project Gunrunner will also focus ATF’s investigative, intelligence and training expertise to suppress firearms trafficking to Mexico, with additional special agents, industry operations investigators and intelligence research specialists in the United States assigned to combat firearms trafficking to Mexico.

“The continued expansion of our enforcement and strategic efforts on the U.S.-Mexico border, in partnership with the government of Mexico and other U.S. agencies, will deny firearms to criminal organizations and combat gun-related violence and homicides on both sides of the U.S.- Mexico border.”