The Mexican government has filed a lawsuit against US gun manufacturers amidst rising violence in their country.
The Mexican government filed a lawsuit on Aug. 4 in Massachusetts federal court against 10 U.S. gun companies, saying they are deliberately enabling the flow of weapons to Mexican cartels. Homicide rates have been trending up in Mexico over the past 15 years, with a record of just under 36,000 people killed across the country in 2018 alone.
The suit points to business decisions among U.S. gun-makers that seem specifically designed to appeal to Mexican consumers, such as using branding rooted in Mexican history or popular culture, like a .38-caliber pistol engraved with the face of revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.
About 70% of guns traced in Mexico by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives between 2014 and 2018 came from the United States. “These weapons are intimately linked to the violence that Mexico is living through today,” said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in announcing the suit.
Mexico has very strict laws on gun ownership. As a result of this Mexican trafficking organizations have turned to U.S. citizens for help in acquiring their illegal arms. Americans without criminal records buy several guns at different locations or gun shows in the U.S., and then drive them across the border.
Carlos Pérez Ricart, a professor of international relations who focuses on arms trafficking and organized crime at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics in Mexico City stated the following; “For years the Mexican government has been saying the U.S. should do more about guns, but most of the time it’s in response to pressure from the U.S. to stop the drug trade into the U.S.,” he says. With this lawsuit, “Mexico is going on the offensive.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SALON
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