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Mexico's American Gun Problem And More Local News

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As President Trump wants to fight drugs and migrants pouring into the U.S., Mexico is reeling from bloodshed fueled by American guns, bullets and grenades pouring into Mexico. Also: Two San Diego County supervisors are not happy with plans to change what future transportation funding will be spent on, and District Attorney Summer Stephan says there's been a rise in hate crimes in San Diego.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 Good morning. It's April 30th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters. Mexico is seeing the highest level of homicides in its history. Experts say a vast majority of Mexico's killings are done with us guns smuggled south in part one of this two part series KPBS border reporter Gene Carroll looks at the problem and who it's affecting.

Speaker 2: 00:24 Could you get the sense, this is a US permanent resident who lives in San Diego. She brought her son Fed Nando from Mexico when he was 15 and later. He was very hardworking. He like worked and he was very active for none. The finished school then worked installing floors and carpets in Chula Vista, but eventually he began to struggle with addiction using crystal meth. Yeah, the hip was capable. He started getting skinny and I wonder what it could be and then he started saying things that didn't make sense. Rehab was too expensive in the u s for Sanchez, so she sent him back to Tijuana. We're rehab is more affordable the daily, we're going to check him and she says if a number was shot and killed in Tijuana, no bs. Okay. I don't want vengeance. I don't want vengeance. Yeah. I want more government control over these people. Selling guns to kids centers can be pretty sure the gun used to kill her son came from the u s two one his police chief [inaudible] says nearly all of the guns used to kill people in Mexico are smuggled in from the US.

Speaker 3: 01:36 It's more my complicated component or Mckenna, Mexico. It's very hard to buy a gun in Mexico. We have a very intensive process before you can buy one. If you guys had that, it would be really helpful.

Speaker 2: 01:48 Mexico has only one gun shop. It's controlled by the military in Mexico City. The gun laws for civilians are extremely strict with six months background checks and a federal registry of every person who buys a gun, person to person. Firearm sales are prohibited, but both Mexico and Tijuana or seeing record levels of gun violence with homicides nationwide hitting an all time high of 33,000 last year, president Trump has painted a bleak picture of criminals and drugs pouring into the u s from Mexico. But speaking at the national rifle association form this month, he didn't mention the u s guns pouring into Mexico. In fact, he announced that the US was withdrawing from an international arms agreement aimed at cracking down on illegal weapons trading.

Speaker 4: 02:39 Every day. You stand up for our God given rights without exception, without fail, and without apology.

Speaker 2: 02:48 What we're seeing more of the polymer pistol, Agnes de yes is a special agent with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms, and explosives or Ati. He says there's an increase in large caliber weapons being smuggled into Mexico from the US.

Speaker 5: 03:04 Those weapons are being used by drug cartel 10 force their, their business, if you will, to go after law enforcement, Mexican authorities and innocent civilians.

Speaker 2: 03:15 The esters. There's also been an increase in US gun parts going into Mexico and being assembled there about 70% of weapons seized at crime scenes in Mexico last year that were submitted to us. Authorities were traceable to the u s the s is ATF is trying to combat the situation by going after smugglers in the US. Many are US citizens.

Speaker 5: 03:38 There are individuals associated with cartels that reside in the United States.

Speaker 2: 03:43 Sanchez who believes her son died due to the lack of control over us guns, so she hopes something is done about the problem. Soon. Now Matan Army, they kill my son, then they're going to kill another and it's going to keep happening. They're young. This men are young. The gun fueled violence south of the border has contributed to the increasing number of people seeking asylum in the u s and experts believe that controlling the flow of guns into Mexico would decrease illegal immigration and asylum claims at the u s border. Gene Guerrero, kpps news

Speaker 1: 04:19 coming up tomorrow. I'll look at what's being done to combat southbound weapons smuggling. Hundreds of people came after to her bod of Poway synagogue. Monday for the funeral of Lori k, the 60 year old woman died Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the synagogue killing k and entry three others, ks, daughter Hannah gave an emotional speech.

Speaker 6: 04:41 I would like to hold a moment of peaceful prayer for the victims of gun violence, religious violence, racism, and antisemitism all over the world and I want just pay specific mentioned to two recent events. The tragedy in New Zealand and in Sri Lanka.

Speaker 1: 04:55 The three other victims who were injured in the shooting have all been released from the hospital and are recovering. The San Diego County sheriff's department says it's looking into whether the shooting at that Poway synagogue was a hate crime. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke with district attorneys summer. Stefan who says hate crimes in San Diego are up

Speaker 6: 05:16 whenever you see something at a house of worship or that is targeted to a certain group of people that share a color or an ethnicity. One of the primary things that law enforcement looks like an ad and prosecutors is what is the motivation

Speaker 5: 05:34 district attorney summer Stephen's office will be prosecuting the case against the shooting suspect. One person was killed and three others were wounded at the hub out of Poway synagogue on Saturday. The suspect was booked into jail on one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder. The sheriff's office as it is looking into the legitimacy of an open letter, supposedly written by the suspect that Mike if further insight into his motivation, Stephen says in general there has been a 40% increase in reported hate crimes over the last year and a half in San Diego County. Matt Hoffman Kpbs News,

Speaker 1: 06:07 the San Diego Association of governments has royal to San Diego County supervisors because the regional agency is changing how it's handling transportation funding. KPBS reporter Eric Anderson has details.

Speaker 7: 06:20 Jim Desmond and Christine Gasper are asking the supervisors to support a letter calling on Sandag to keep its promises. They argue that a recent decision to shift transportation funding from freeway projects to transit breaks a promise with voters. Fellow supervisor. Nathan Fletcher says he disagrees arguing the region needs to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaker 8: 06:43 It doesn't make sense to go back decades behind failed policies that we know are not going to achieve the outcomes we need.

Speaker 7: 06:51 Sandag hopes to redirect voter approved transit funding to pay for the technology, mass transit and ride sharing that will change the way people travel. The move is supported by San Diego's mayor and a number of other local political leaders. Eric Anderson KPBS news.

Speaker 1: 07:08 The idea of phasing out California is 25,000 polluting diesel school buses will have to wait another year before it could become law in California. Capitol Public Radio Is Ezra David Romero reports

Speaker 9: 07:20 there are very few electric school buses in the state and diesel school buses and mid around 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gases every year. Nationally. San Francisco's and women David choose bill to help begin to phase them out. Was recently tabled until 2024 revision. Choose reason for authoring the bill is personal.

Speaker 10: 07:40 As someone who's a father of a three year old, I am not looking forward to a day when he might have to get onto a school bus that is spewing dirty fumes into his chest.

Speaker 9: 07:50 Now to your bill would create a path for school districts to work with utilities and state agencies to figure out how to finance the transition. Even though the legislation is on hold, the California Energy Commission reported last year. There's more than $90 million in funds available for replacing polluting buses in Sacramento. I'm Ezra David Romero

Speaker 1: 08:10 this Friday, the San Diego Natural History Museum and Digital Jim Cinema Partner for the third year in a row to present real science. Real by the way, is spelled r e l k PBS arts reporter Bevacqua Mondo as this preview of the film series, that pair of Scifi movies with local scientists who can textualize the science presented on screen.

Speaker 5: 08:34 Your original star Trek TV series inspired many people to boldly go into science.

Speaker 10: 08:39 I mean the original star trek was so amazing at a social and science fiction level and I just think about that TV series all the time and the w how much fun they were and how much they kind of made me fantasize about the world. Michael is curator of entomology

Speaker 9: 08:56 at the San Diego Natural History Museum. He says popular media can be a gateway to science for the general populace because Hollywood is good at storytelling so it can engage the average person and maybe even inspire him or her to think about science in new ways. Eric Lee and artist is a phd candidate and cognitive science at UC SD. He says star trek still inspires him today. I watch it all the time still especially because it not only deals with sort of like the consequences of science and technology but also like a way broader political intergalactic politics sort of context. Leah and artists kicks off the real science film series this Friday at the digital Jim cinema with David Cronenberg's the fly. I was thinking about sort of the marketability of Jeff Gold blooms body, and that makes the museum happy because part of the goal of the real science series is to reach new audiences, especially those in the 18 to 35 age range. And if it takes Jeff Goldbloom to bring them in, that's fine. In the film, Goldblum plays a scientist who experiments with teleportation or are we waiting for, let's do it. Told rotations. Totally fine. If you're comfortable with a slightly different, you coming out the other end. And I found that to be really disturbing, but it reminded me of Star Trek actually the teleportation problem where there were like protesters in the Star Trek universe saying that they won't tell a fork because they don't think it's the same damn coming out the other side. As it turns out, their concerns are legitimate.

Speaker 11: 10:28 I'm trying to experiment.

Speaker 9: 10:30 During the experiment, Goldblum scientist tries to teach the computer about the flesh,

Speaker 11: 10:35 the flesh.

Speaker 9: 10:37 It should make the computer a crazy. I like those old ladies pinching babies. But as I said, not yet. I haven't taught the computer to me made crazy by the uh,

Speaker 11: 10:48 flesh

Speaker 9: 10:49 as a cognitive scientist. Leonardo's is interested in the brain. The fly allows him to address a once popular notion that humans are just logical computers and the body doesn't really matter. But what we've learned in the past sort of 20 years ish is that the body matters a lot and the mind can't really exist without a body. That's kind of why I think I chose the fly. Uh, and Cronenberg because body horror, it throws it in your face. It makes you deal with these issues of like core poor reality and materiality, which are important to me. What's important to Michael Wall are bugs,

Speaker 12: 11:27 right?

Speaker 9: 11:29 He closes out the real science series on May 24th with the post apocalyptic film, Damnation Alley,

Speaker 12: 11:35 armor plated cockroaches.

Speaker 10: 11:36 I remember being horrified by one particular scene where these cockroaches start chewing on a guy.

Speaker 12: 11:43 His whole town is infected with killer cockroaches, no kid.

Speaker 10: 11:49 And as an entomologist, that was my entry point. This movie in particular is thinking about insects and what they will they will be like and how they will survive in sort of a post human world.

Speaker 1: 12:04 The film also opens the door for wall to discuss the insect apocalypse and the decline of insect diversity worldwide. That in turn allows him to highlight what the museum does as a research facility.

Speaker 10: 12:15 So we've got over 8 million specimens and our and our collections, and we're thinking about conservation oriented things quite a lot these days. The impact of climate change on biodiversity in our region. Really trying to use these collections to inform current conservation

Speaker 1: 12:31 and to use a 70 Saifai b-movie to unexpectedly open up a conversation about such issues. It's that kind of enlightening fun that real science delivers. That's like Amando KPBS news. Real science kicks off on Friday at digital Jim cinema with the fly. Thanks for listening to KPBS as San Diego news matters podcast. For more local stories, go to k pbs.org.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.