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Conviction of Top Mexican Cop Shows Corruption Problem, Not U.S. Guns

Former Mexico Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna is guilty of drug trafficking, also showing new points on American guns in Mexico.

Conviction of Top Mexican Cop Shows Corruption Problem, Not U.S. Guns

Conviction of Top Mexican Cop Show Corruption Problem, Not U.S. Guns (Leon Rafael/Shutterstock)

“Mexico's former public security secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna, has been found guilty of drug trafficking,” NPR reports. “He is the highest-ranking Mexican official ever to be tried in the United States.”

“García Luna served as both the head of Mexico's FBI and then in the president's cabinet as secretary of Public Security,” an earlier NPR report recalled. “During his tenure, he met with U.S. officials and spoke at Washington think-tanks about fighting the ‘war on drugs.’"

How he came to be arrested and prosecuted in the U.S. is another matter of interest. 

“According to financial records obtained by the government, by the time Garcia Luna relocated to the United States in 2012, he had amassed a personal fortune of millions of dollars. Garcia Luna continued to take steps in the United States to conceal his corrupt assistance to drug traffickers,” the Department of Justice alleged in a 2019 press release. “Specifically, he allegedly submitted an application for naturalization in 2018, in which he lied about his past criminal acts on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

Former Mexican “top cop”, and current convicted criminal, Genaro Garcia Luna
Former Mexican “top cop”, and current convicted criminal, Genaro Garcia Luna. (Shutterstock/ Octavio Hoyos)

He wasn’t cooperating and wasn’t needed anymore. Of course, if he had, who knows how many bodies of those he cared about would be found dangling from bridges? Per witness testimony, Luna took “millions of dollars in bribes from the very drug cartels he was supposed to be cracking down on,” the terror-inspiring Sinaloa cartel. He tipped off traffickers to raids and “shared ... U.S. law enforcement information.” And he “was convicted on charges including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, cocaine distribution and cocaine conspiracy.”

The extent of high-level hypocrisy and corruption backed by monstrous brutality may seem stunning to those who have not paid attention to such matters. Those who have kept up with things know that violent criminality is systemic in Mexican government, and that U.S. officials and business interests profit from it politically and economically.

Luna assuming his place in the food chain is hardly surprising. A good rule of thumb for Mexican politics is that attaining and retaining power can depend on whether the cartels want someone in or out. And as is the case everywhere and in every time (you might say in Everytown!), power depends on who is armed. No one benefits more from “gun control” than criminals—both in and out of government.

While the Mexican Constitution supposedly acknowledges a right to keep and bear arms, in practice, per MexLaw, the restrictions on calibers and on carrying outside the home, along with permit licensing, registration, and the lack of any authorized gun store for citizens outside of the Directorate of Commercialization of Arms and Munitions in Mexico City puts the “law-abiding” squarely at the mercy of the merciless.

SEDENA, the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense, operates what is effectively a “state liquor store but for guns.” It’s also the store for police departments to buy guns from and that is where much corruption can originate, as a small police department may buy 10 AR-15s BUT four of them may go out the back door for local cartels – so the anti-gunners will claim “It’s U.S. guns going to cartels!” but in reality no reporter or U.S. govt. official is checking (or reporting) to see if the guns “walked” over the border OR went through SEDENA first. That’s even though, per GunPolicy,org, “In Mexico, licensed gun makers are required to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority.”

Speaking of said corruption, an Associated Press report from 2021 detailed the capture of “Former Federal Police commander Luis Cardenas Palomino ... considered the right-hand man of former security secretary Genaro Garcia Luna . [Palomino was] also accused ... of accepting millions in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel [and arrested] on charges he tortured a kidnapping suspect in 2012.”

“Cardenas Palomino served as a top commander in the now-disappeared federal police,” the report noted. “He and Garcia Luna were best known in Mexico for allegedly staging a 2005 raid for TV cameras, leading to the arrest of two supposed kidnapping suspects, even though the suspects had been detained illegally hours earlier.”

As a fraudulent criminal in government, Luna played the citizen disarmament game using the same narrative lies prohibitionists here were exploiting to try and swindle American citizens out of their birthright. In his case, he was pitching the Bush administration’s $1.4B Merida Initiative for  “counternarcotics aid” to Mexico. 


“Garcia Luna met with government officials and diplomats and gave a stilted power-point presentation to policy experts,” The New York Times Magazine wrote in its 2008 article, “The Long War of  Genaro García Luna.” “He seemed more interested in the photographs he had brought, his way of making a blunt point about a touchy aspect of U.S.-Mexican relations: the vast majority of weapons in the cartel’s arsenals (80 to 90 percent, according to the Mexican government’s figures) are purchased in the United States, often at loosely regulated gun shows, and smuggled into Mexico by the same networks that smuggle drugs the opposite direction.”

“Garcia Luna has a hard time concealing his anger about the fact that U.S. laws make it difficult to do much about this ‘brutal flow’ of firepower,” the article elaborated. “’How is it possible,’ he asked ... ‘that a person is allowed to go buy a hundred cuernos de chivo  [Mexican slang for] AK-47’s  for himself?’ In the United States, he said, ‘there was a lot of indifference.’”

Left unaddressed is that many of the AKs are NOT of US origin. Models which are clearly Chinese and haven’t been U.S. imported in three decades which command prices of $1,800 - $3,500 here to collectors, are in very short supply. Also, many of the AKs are VERY worn and they are factory select-fire guns which means they came from somewhere else. Years ago, illegal AKs from decades of Central American wars could be purchased for less than $150 in Mexico – these guns come from elsewhere. As do other armaments.

Back in 2009, the Associated Press reported on cartel grenades coming into Texas from across the Mexican border, and “countless grenade attacks against police and rivals” happening there. While most, indeed, were of U.S. (and South Korean) origin, the only way they could have made their way into criminal hands were through homicidally-minded official corruption. Luna’s feigned outrage spread the same lies being told by domestic gun-grabbers in their never-ending obsession with resurrecting the 1994 “assault weapon” ban, right down to the percentages deception, which was initially claimed to be even higher.

“American gun sellers supply the cartels with 95 to 100 percent of their guns, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” former Brady Campaign president Paul Helmke, and board member, former Maryland Lieutenant Governor, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, and daughter of Robert F, Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend falsely claimed in a CNN hit piece designed to gin up outrage and demands to outlaw semiautos from the ill-informed. 

Left out of those claims was the qualifier that the guns in question had been submitted to ATF by Mexican authorities “for tracing.” What was left deliberately unsaid, as documented in this correspondent’s November 2022 Firearms News analysis (in the article Lies From Operation Fast and Furious: ‘Gunwalking' Resurrected in Mexican Lawsuit ) was that those accounted for only a small fraction of total guns seized, and only about a third of those submitted guns came from U.S. dealers. So, the twisted figures also did not take into account guns purchased through SEDENA by corrupt Mexican police departments for the Cartels AND guns which came from other countries.

In a report that factors in government sales and non-civilian ordnance, geopolitical intelligence publisher Stratfor Global Intelligence concluded, “[T]he 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.” The key phrase here is “arms seized”– if all cartel arms were factored in, the figures would arguably be much less than 12 percent.

Still, fleshing out that lie is what led to ATF’s insane Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking” debacle, where media hysteria could be stoked with U.S. guns recovered next to bodies at crime scenes. It was only when some of those guns were found where U.S. Border patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by a Mexican rip crew, and some ATF whistleblowers fed up with agency waste, abuse, corruption, and fraud came forward to confirm that those were “walked” guns, was exposed. It was a cynical criminal “mine salting” operation conceived and abetted by Phoenix Field Division Bureau management, and covered for by Bureau HQ leading all the way up to then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department. 

The Biden administration and the Democrat Party are still trying for that “assault weapon” ban (the goal of every Marxist and communist in the world with the hopes of destroying America), and they’re still partnering with Mexican kleptocrats to do it. While a federal judge dismissed a joint Mexico/Brady Center tag team effort to sue U.S. gunmakers for $10B on the grounds that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms act prohibits such suits, (plaintiffs threaten to be back with a new suit against dealers this time) all it will take to repeal and reverse the law is an overwhelming Democrat majority. That’s something the party has been continuously working on with its longstanding plan to put the 20+ million illegal aliens who crossed the deliberately porous border onto a pathway-- scratch that -- superhighway to citizenship. They know full well from real world experience and from polls which way the vast majority will vote.

A revealing aside was the repetition of an old, familiar lie: “As confirmed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the lawsuit claimed that 70% to 90% of guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were trafficked from the U.S.”

In the meantime, the border stays open with untold thousands of crossings each month by foreign nationals of unknown origin, character, intent, and contagious status, and the government playing catch and release with the ones who turn themselves in for “asylum” on the promise that they’ll show up for their hearings months down the road.  By that time, they’ll be safely ensconced in Democrat-controlled (and most like Bloomberg Mayors Against Illegal Guns member) “sanctuary cities.” Deadly fentanyl and other addicting drugs that fuel urban gang turf wars and violent crime will continue to flow in either unchecked or adding to incentives for domestic police corruption. Then there’s the steady erosion of freedom via asset forfeiture laws, and the loss of any semblance of banking or just personal privacy.

There’s no end to it.

“Federal prosecutors have announced charges against more than a dozen alleged high-ranking leaders of the international gang MS-13, accusing them of directing criminal activities, including murder in the United States, El Salvador, Mexico, and other countries over the past two decades,” Fox 5 New York recently reported. “Prosecutors said they authorized and directed violence including multiple murders in the United States, Mexico and elsewhere as part of an effort to expand MS-13’s influence and territorial control.”

One way they’re doing that, the story notes, is by “forging alliances with Mexican cartels” just like Genaro Garcia Luna did.

The extent of the corruption in light of the savage terrorism the cartels inflict is further exacerbated through collusion and incompetence. Former Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán escaped Mexican prisons two times until he was arrested a third time in 2016 and ultimately extradited to the United States. His son, Ovidio Guzmán López (who was recaptured earlier this year), was released after his initial 2019 capture, when over “700 heavily armed cartel gunmen threatened mass civilian deaths, including an attack to the apartment complex housing the relatives of the local military personnel.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador supported the surrender “to prevent more bloodshed.”

“It's long past time to designate these cartels as the terrorists they are and give U.S. authorities the tools needed to take them down,” Rep. Chip Roy of Texas declared in a March 13 press release. “That's why I started pushing the Trump administration for FTO [Foreign Terrorist Organization] designations during my first few months in Congress, why I introduced this legislation last Congress, and why I'm introducing it again.”

Don’t hold your breath. Per, which follows the progress of congressional legislation, the Senate companion bill, S. 698: “Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act” has a “prognosis” of a “4% chance of being enacted.” Democrats aren’t about to give up one of their prime tools for swindling Americans out of their birthright.

Who in their right mind believes the way to stop the madness is by disarming you and me? 

About the Author

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News  he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook. 

If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at

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