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President Lopez Obrador met with Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to address arms trafficking, migration, drug trafficking, and development cooperation.
On Monday, a legal team from the Mexican government continued litigations against the US arms industry in an appellate court in Boston, Massachusetts, following the dismissal of a $10 million compensation claim in September by a judge.
The initial lawsuit was rejected, as explained by Alejandro Celorio, legal consultant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). However, the law granting immunity to arms companies against civil liability lawsuits does not apply if the damages occurred in Mexico.
This was the main argument presented by the lawyers representing Mexico in the judicial process before the appellate court, which will take up to eight months to determine whether the case proceeds to a regular court or if Mexico's lawsuit is definitively discarded.
"The best-case scenario is that the appellate court decides that the judge made a legal analysis error in the first instance and orders the litigation to continue, reevaluating the arguments. The worst-case scenario is that the judge's initial ruling is upheld," said Celorio.
The US Commerce Department has played booster and concierge to the firearm industry. Commerce employees help recruit foreign buyers, accompany them at the industry’s Las Vegas exhibition, and offer an online portal to pair them with US manufacturers https://t.co/eO1Uwh0Zb7
The lawsuit filed in Boston is against several firearms manufacturers and distributors, represented by one of former President Donald Trump's attorneys (2017-2021).
Mexico also has another ongoing judicial process in Tucson, Arizona, this time against arms sellers, with the first hearing for presenting legal arguments scheduled for late August.
"The goal of this strategy is to emphasize that everyone involved in the distribution and sale chain, acting irresponsibly and negligently, is equally responsible for facilitating the illicit trafficking of arms to our country," emphasized the legal consultant.
While Celorio anticipated that both processes will take time, he highlighted that the fact that Mexico's arguments are being discussed already represents a victory "in terms of narrative."
Although he did not specify the amount of compensation being sought this time, he underscored that if obtained, it would cover the expenses incurred by the government in combating illicit arms trafficking, which is estimated to be around US$15 billion, equivalent to more than 5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
On Monday afternoon, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) met with White House National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall at the National Palace to address arms trafficking, migration, drug trafficking, and cooperation for development.