Mexico to sue U.S. gun companies for promoting illegal arms trafficking
The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has filed a lawsuit against 11 arms companies for "commercial practices that facilitate illegal trafficking to…
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The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has filed a lawsuit against 11 U.S. arms companies for "negligent and illicit commercial practices, which facilitate the illegal traffic of arms to Mexico."
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Boston and its objective is to stop the flow of illegal weapons from the United States to Mexico. Seven out of 10 weapons that enter the country come from across the border — a total that according to official estimates reaches 200,000 firearms a year.
In addition, the Mexican Government said the illegal sale of arms by the United States was responsible for at least 17,000 murders in 2019. In the document released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explaining the lawsuit, it says: “The defendant companies are aware that their products are trafficked and used in illicit activities against the civilian population and the Mexican authorities.”
The legal action has been carried out a year after organized crime tried to assassinate the chief of police in Mexico City with 34 long guns, five Barrett 50-caliber rifles and a grenade launcher. All weapons are illegal in Mexico. The attempt also took place just over three kilometers from the house where the United States ambassador to the country resides.
The Mexican government hopes to obtain compensation for damages equivalent to 2% of the country's GDP. That was calculated based off of the estimated violence caused by illegal arms trafficking, and the loss of public resources Mexico uses in the fight against criminal groups. In addition, there are also million-dollar losses in other industries such as tourism.
The process will be long, as the plaintiffs themselves admit. First, the Mexican government must demonstrate its right to sue the arms manufacturers. In other words, the State has to make the Court understand it is directly affected by the illegal arms trade.
In the fight, they have a great ally. U.S. President Joe Biden's Administration decided in early 2021 to review the immunity law that protects the interests of arms companies. Its objective is to promote a new law that helps to restrict the exacerbated presence of weapons in the United States itself.