Violence in Mexico has been at such a stupendous level for so many years now that the very name 'Mexico' has almost become synonymous with flashy gold plated and heavily engraved weaponry. But there's more to the situation of violence than just flashy guns, and in recent years Cártels have been heavily ramping up their acquisitions.
First and foremost, one of the most iconic weapons of these criminal groups is the Kalashnikov rifle in its many forms. AK-47's, AKM's, 101's, 74U's and everything in between, these so-called Cuernos de Chivo are rampant and readily available to anyone considering a life of crime.
Beyond this we have AR-15's, which have been known to be 'lost' by military and police personnel. However, a great deal of these weapons - handguns, Kalashnikovs, .50 caliber rifles, AR-15's and more typically originate from the United States. Cártels have operatives north of the border whom are responsible for organizing 'straw buyers', people who purchase weapons on behalf of an organization for a kickback.
Not only that, but we also have heavily controversial operations utilized by US authorities which allowed straw purchasers to smuggle weapons into Mexico for the purposes of tracking sellers and buyers. Some of these weapons, which numbered 2,000 or more would later turn up in murder scenes across the country. Including one scene where a US Border Agent lost his life in December 2010.
Since that time, organizations have spread out beyond just assault rifles and hand guns. We are now seeing many more .50 caliber rifles than we used to, along with the introduction of MANPAD's, RPG's, Claymore mines, and a great deal of under barrel grenade launchers in use today.