Mexico Sues U.S. Gun Manufacturers For custom-made guns for cartels and Contributing To Arms Trafficking Deaths

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MEXICO (NPR) — In recent press conference, foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard sent condolences to the mexican-american families who lost 19 children and two techers in the recent Texas School Shooting. Ebrard reminded U.S. weapons manefactures that Mexico’s lawsuit filed in Boston continue its course, and the U.S. laws these companies created using strong lobbying to proteect themselves with immunity, it doesn’t apply outside U.S. territory.

Secretary Ebrard has shown evidence of guns that were custom madeby these U.S. gun manefacturera at the direct request of Mexican cartels, therefore Mexoco expects to win this case.

Last year, the Mexican government sued U.S. gun-makers and distributors, including some of the biggest names in guns like Beretta, on Wednesday in U.S. federal court in Boston, arguing that their commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico.

The unusual lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court in Boston. Among those being sued are some of the biggest names in guns, including: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.; Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.; Beretta U.S.A. Corp.; Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, and Glock Inc. Another defendant is Interstate Arms, a Boston-area wholesaler that sells guns from all but one of the named manufacturers to dealers around the U.S.

A security guard stands outside the Glock, Inc. headquarters in Smyrna, Ga., in this 2014 file photo. Xxxxxxxx

In U.S. federal court in Boston on Wednesday, the Mexican government sued U.S. gun-makers and distributors, including some of the biggest names in guns like Glock Inc., arguing that their commercial and buisness practices with Mexican Cartels have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico. David Goldman/AP.

The Mexican government argues that the companies know that their practices contribute to the trafficking of guns to Mexico and facilitate it because these companies are filling in custom-made gun sales orders directly to drug cartels and criminal gangs in Mexico. Therefore, Mexico wants compensation for the havoc the guns have brought to its country.

brings this action to put an end to the massive damage that the Defendants cause by actively custom-made guns and rifles for cartels, and facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico,” the lawsuit said.

The U.S. and Mexican governments estimate that 70% of the weapons trafficked to Mexico come from the U.S.,. And that in 2019 alone, at least 250k homicides were linked to trafficked weapons in the last 10 years. That’s more deaths that those caused by the Mexican Revolution.

Alejandro Celorio, legal advisor for Mexicos Foreign ministry, told reporters that the damage caused by the trafficked guns would be equal to 1.7% to 2% of Mexico’s gross domestic product. The government will seek at least $10 billion in compensation, he said. Mexico’s GDP last year was more than $1.2 trillion.

“We don’t do it to pressure the United States,” Celorio said. “We do it so there aren’t deaths in Mexico.”

Secratary Ebrard said the lawsuit was another piece of the government’s efforts against guns. “The priority is that we reduce homicides,” he said. “We aren’t looking to change American laws.”

Mexico did not seek the advice of the U.S. government on the matter, but advised the U.S. Embassy before filing the lawsuit.

<Steve Shadowen, the lead attorney representing Mexico, said that in the early 2000s about 30 U.S. cities brought similar litigation against gun manufacturers arguing that they should be responsible for increased police, hospitalization and other costs associated with gun violence.

As some cities started winning, gun manufacturers went to Congress and got an immunity statute for the manufacturers. Shadowen said he believes that immunity doesn’t apply when the injury occurs outside the United States.

The merits of the case are strongly in our favor and then we have to get around this immunity statute which we think we’re going to win,” he said. “That statute just simply doesn’t apply. It only applies when you’re in the United States.”

He said he believes it is the first time a foreign government has sued the gun manufacturers.

The sale of firearms is severely restricted in Mexico and controlled by the Defense Department. But thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico by the USA powerful gun makers acting line gun cartels who make a furtune selling weapons to drug cartels.

There were more than 36,000 murders in Mexico last year, and the toll began to clime down,, but stubbornly not fast enough says President Andrés Manuel López Obrador administration who pledge to pacify the country.

In August 2019, a gunmen killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart, including some Mexican citizens. At that time, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the government would explore its legal options. The government said Wednesday that recent rulings in U.S. courts contributed to its decision to file the lawsuit.

It cited a decision in California allowing a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson to move forward, a lawsuit filed last week against Century Arms related to a 2019 shooting in Gilroy, California, and the $33 million settlement reached by Remington with some of the families whose children were killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary mass school shooting.

Winkler, the UCLA professor, mentioned the Sandy Hook lawsuit as one that initially few thought would go anywhere.

The plaintiffs in that case made an innovative and bold argument, too,” he said. “They argued that the immunity statute does not prevent these gun makers from being held liable where they act negligently.”

Over the past year or so, we’ve seen some cracks in the immunity armor provided by federal law, Perhaps Mexico’s timing is on their side.” Winkler said.

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