We know that drug-related violence plagues our neighbors to the south. The constant, often grizzly reports from there have made that clear. They’ve been enough to discourage lots of San Diegans from taking the weekend day trips to Tijuana that were once one of the city’s most important lifebloods. You could go back and forth about how dangerous those trips actually are for the average San Diego tourist.

That’s because beyond that nebulous image of violence, there seems to be a general misunderstanding of what, exactly, is going on down there. Who is fighting? Who is dying? Why has it gotten so much worse in recent years? Is anyone to blame? What can we do about it?

Big questions, which you could debate until blue in the face. But this morning I found a little clarity on one of those.

We often hear that many of the weapons that are fueling the drug violence are coming from this side of the border and being smuggled across. That means lots of those illicit firearms are being transported through San Diego all the time. But how does that work?

In this piece, KPBS does a nice job of illustrating how one case highlights the problem of weapons smuggling that local officials are trying to tackle.

The New York Times also looked at the broader problem in this piece from last year.

And if you missed it, be sure to check out our two-part series on the local impacts of Mexico’s drug-related violence.


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