Mexico accuses US arms companies of “politicizing” the litigation

EFE.- The legal consultant of the Mexican Foreign Ministry, Alejandro Celorio, coordinator of the unprecedented lawsuit against the United States arms companies, denounced this Wednesday that the defendant companies are attempting to “politicize” the litigation while Mexico remains “respectful.”

The Government of Mexico has been very respectful and insists that it is not a lawsuit against the second amendment, the United States Government or the Americans. However, companies want to politicize the litigation by saying that Mexico is corrupt and we have bad borders, “he explained in an interview with EFE.

In August, Mexico filed a civil lawsuit in a court in Boston (Massachusetts, United States) against 11 companies which he accuses of negligence that facilitate the illegal traffic of arms to Mexico, where they are used by organized crime.

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Monday the companies They asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that US law gives them immunity and that Mexico does not have the capacity to sue in the United States.

But the consultant of the Mexican Foreign Ministry, who must respond to these arguments on January 31, He argued that US laws do not have “extraterritorial effects”, so they do not have immunity for damage that occurs in Mexico.

The Mexican Governmento estimates that half a million weapons illegally cross the border each year, about 2.2% of total US production, and are responsible for thousands of homicides annually.

With the lawsuit, the Mexican authorities seek that companies establish greater controls on the sale of their weapons and also ask for financial compensation for the cost of insecurity in Mexico, which would range between 2% and 6% of gross domestic product. Mexican (GDP).

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It’s not like they sell spoons. They are selling guns and should take a much higher level of care (…) Knowing that their weapons are causing so much death in Mexico, they should at least ask themselves’ what do we do? ”, Said Celorio.

The consultant explained that the southern United States is home to the majority of gun stores, which sell to figureheads, out of stock, or several rifles to the same person.

“They sell weapons with gold, with jewels, they call them ‘Chief of chiefs’, with Aztec symbols. We cannot think that it is (a business) innocent, ”said Celorio.

The consultant is convinced that the solution passes through greater commercial controls and not through reinforcing the border: “For decades, efforts have been made in customs, tunnel detection, more agents, but the weapons continue to arrive.”

Mexico insists time and again that the lawsuit is against companies and not against the United States government, which in fact has not issued “any pronouncement” on the litigation but cooperates with Mexico in the fight against arms trafficking, said Celorio.

Since the 2019 massacre against Latinos in El Paso (Texas), the Mexican government has raised its voice against arms trafficking and it is an issue addressed last week by Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Joe Biden in Washington.

“The litigation is part of a much larger strategy. The Government of Mexico tackles the issue of arms trafficking from different angles, “said the consultant.

Celorio assured that “there is a lot of goodwill from the government of President Biden to do more things together” and called on companies to “be part of the solution as well.”

The Foreign Ministry official assured that the litigation, in which 100 people work with a budget of one million dollars a year, is not a media strategy but “a lawsuit with the objective of winning”, and trusted that the process will continue its course when the López Obrador government has ended in 2024.

“Many of us who participate in this effort are career diplomats and we will share the benefits of the litigation with the next government,” he said.

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