Mexico's Weapons Imports Almost Doubled In Last 5 Years, US Sent More Than Half

February 21, 2017

The Mexican government almost doubled its imports of major weapons in the last five years, and a majority of those weapons came from the United States, according to a study released this week.  

Mexico is far from being the world’s top importer of weapons. But still, its imports increased by more than 180 percent. About 56 percent came from the U.S., the study says.

Nan Tian, one of the authors of the study from the Stokholm International Peace Research Institute, said the increase is given in part to the Merida Initiative, the controversial agreement between the two countries to fight drug trafficking. The U.S. gives many firearms to Mexico at no cost.

"It’s also beneficial for the U.S. to have a more stable neighbor, in terms of Mexico," Tian said.  

A very small proportion of U.S. exports went to Mexico. The U.S.' top three firearms clients - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey – accounted for a quarter of its exports.