Mexico sues US gun manufacturers: The Mexican government has sued the largest U.S. gun maker, accusing it of fueling bloodshed through reckless business practices.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies were aware that they were contributing to the illegal arms smuggling, which has been linked to a number of deaths.
Officials say Mexico is seeking $ 10 billion (£ 7.2 billion) in damages, but any amount will be determined by a court.
The companies have not yet commented.
Among them were Smith & Wesson and Barrett guns. The BBC contacted both companies for comment.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the US state of Massachusetts.
The Mexican government says the move is “to end the huge damage [companies] are causing to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico by facilitating the illegal smuggling of their guns.”
The foreign ministry said in a statement that the gun manufacturers were “aware that their products were being smuggled and used in illegal activities against civilians and Mexican authorities.”
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He said Mexican companies used marketing tactics to promote more lethal weapons “without security or trace”.
Mexican officials say some Colt-made guns have been found, particularly on the Mexican market, such as a pistol engraved on the face and name of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata.
Mexico has strict rules governing the sale of weapons and can only be purchased legally at a store located in the capital, Army Base.
As a result, those who want to buy weapons often get them from the US.
According to the Mexican government, criminal agencies buy thousands of pistols, rifles, assault weapons, and ammunition in supermarkets, on the Internet, and at arms shows in the US, which is used to commit crimes in Mexico.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns, and Explosives 70% of weapons recovered in Mexico between 2014 and 2018 are submitted for tracing.
In 2019 alone, more than 17,000 murders in Mexico were linked to smuggling weapons.
The damage caused by smuggled firearms is equivalent to about 1.7% of Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP), an official told reporters.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Marcelo Abrard said: “We are going to succeed in the investigation and drastically reduce the smuggling of illegal weapons to Mexico.”
Mexican officials insisted the lawsuit was not aimed at the U.S. government. Mr Ebard said he believed President Joe Biden’s administration was willing to work with Mexico to curb arms shipments.
Experts, however, are skeptical of Mexico’s chances of success through this lawsuit.
Lorenzo Meyer, an Emeritus Professor at the College of Mexico, told AFP news agency that US law “makes it almost impossible for gun manufacturers to be held accountable for illegal trade.”