How do the Mexican cartels get their guns? We've all seen photo displays of weapons confiscated from arrested cartel members, and some of the guns probably did come across the border from the U.S.
Case in point -- an old fashioned traffic stop in the border town of Hidalgo, Texas. "During the officer's routine inspection of the vehicle, they identified suspicious activity." Link. They called in ICE, and in the search that followed, 15 AK47 rifles were found hidden in the gas tank. The driver and passenger, Antonio Ibarra, 41, and Edwardo Ibarra, 37, were arrested on state charges for firearms smuggling.
[Aside: One has to wonder what "suspicious activity" would trigger the dismantling of the gas tank. But never mind.]
Hidalgo, by the way, is near McAllen, Texas, and is directly across the border from Reynosa, Mexico. About Reynosa, check out what purports to be an account of narco warfare there last year. Excerpt:
In what moment did our teenagers in Reynosa stop looking up to and admiring their fathers or an uncle and decide to instead jump into this organized crime labyrinth of no return? Maybe all this happened when their fathers or uncles started becoming involved in these businesses, thus it is fair, my conclusion: being a narco in Reynosa is almost the same as being a hero.
It's a murderous business, and it's fueled by the dollars people are willing to pay for drugs. Little wonder that the cartels were dead set against the legalization of marijuana in California last November.