Mexico has filed a lawsuit against gun manufacturers in the United States, alleging that they are involved in arms trafficking.
According to the government, Mexico filed a case in a Boston court on Wednesday against major US gunmakers over illicit cross-border arms transfers that feed endemic bloodshed.
The Latin American country, which has long been pressured by the US to combat drug smuggling, now wants its neighbor to crack down on gun trafficking in the opposite direction.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a press conference that this type of legal action is unusual for the Mexican government and has the support of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“We will win the trial, and we will dramatically curtail illicit arms trafficking to Mexico,” he predicted.
Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Colt, Glock, Century Arms, Ruger, and Barrett are among the firms listed in the lawsuit.
According to Mexican police, they produce more than two-thirds of the over half a million guns illegally imported into the country each year.
The American gun industry gains millions of dollars each year on the flow of arms.
According to Ebrard, the action demands compensation for the damage caused by the firms’ “negligent practices” at an amount to be established during the trial.
He went on to say that the government wants to put in place necessary criteria to “watch and discipline” arms dealers.
Since 2006, when the military was sent to combat drug trafficking, Mexico has seen over 300,000 homicides, the most of which have been blamed on criminal gangs.
According to the Mexican authorities, illegally trafficked guns from the United States were used in almost 17,000 homicides in 2019.
Ebrard even claimed that US manufacturers were developing alternative firearm models specifically for Mexican drug traffickers, which is part of the case.
He explained, “They are made for that, therefore they buy them.”
According to experts, taking on the deep-pocketed gunmakers is a monumental undertaking for Mexico.
According to Lorenzo Meyer, retired professor at the College of Mexico, the relocation is “nearly an obligation” but will likely be primarily symbolic.
“An army of attorneys will respond to the lawsuit,” he said, adding that US law “makes it almost impossible for gun makers to be held accountable” for the illegal trade.
“It’s a chess piece that Mexico is compelled to play against the United States in difficult circumstances,” Meyer added.
“We are in a scenario where it is impossible for Mexico to stop arms transfers if the United States does not truly want to do so,” he said.