Report: Guns recovered in Central America traced to non-U.S. sources
By Christen Smith
Masked gang members hand over weapons during a symbolic act for peace at Gerardo Barrios Square in San Salvador, El Salvador, on July 12, 2012. (Photo:Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images)
Half of the more than 5,700 guns recovered in Central America last year came from foreign countries, according to a federal report published this week.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released international tracing data Wednesday for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean gathered through the agency’s National Tracing Center.
“Firearms tracing provides valuable investigative leads, specific trend data for ATF and its international partners, and information on the movement of a firearm from the manufacturer or importer through the distribution chain in an attempt to identify its first retail purchaser,” the agency said in a press release Wednesday.
According to ATF findings, federal authorities recovered 5,728 firearms from five Central American nations in 2016: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
Agents traced the majority of these recovered guns to foreign countries — or no source at all.
Over 71 percent of the 2,182 guns recovered in Honduras came from non-U.S. manufacturers, according to the report. Likewise, 60 percent of the 152 guns found in Panama, 53 percent of the 623 guns from Honduras and 51