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Since January 2020, Mexican security forces have seized 55,996 weapons, including 21,430 high-powered ones, mainly along the U.S. border.
On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced that his country plans to file a new civil lawsuit in the United States alleging U.S. arms manufacturers are arming drug cartels and other criminal groups through proxies and fronts.
"We are going to show that they are operating through frontmen and that they must be held criminally responsible," Ebrard told a plenary session of the Mexican Senate.
As part of the government's fourth-year report, the foreign minister said this second lawsuit to be filed in the southern state of Arizona would identify 10 American counties responsible for selling firearms through fronts.
Mexico's initial lawsuit, filed in 2021 against eleven U.S. weapons manufacturers "for negligence and promoting the illicit trafficking of their products" in Mexico, sought US$10 billion in damages in a bid to draw attention to the connection between lax gun laws in the United States and rising violent crime in Mexico.
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That suit was struck down last week by a federal district court judge in Boston. U.S. law prohibits suing weapons manufacturers for the misuse of guns, but Mexico has planned to appeal that decision, Ebrard said.
This appeal will be supported by the entry into force of a new U.S. law that establishes arms trafficking as a federal crime and penalizes those who buy weapons destined for criminal activity.
Highlighting the problem, Ebrard told the Senate that "the trafficking of these weapons is superior in number and fire capacity to everything that we officially bought in a year for our armed forces and police."
Since January 2020, Mexican security forces have seized 55,996 weapons, including 21,430 high-powered ones, mainly along the U.S. border. Next week, binational talks on security matters will be held in the U.S., and Mexico plans to raise the issue.
"Migration: A Road to death" report by the @IOM_UN warned that nearly 45,400 people have lost their lives on migratory routes since 2014. So far this year, the number of deaths exceeds over 4,236 recorded in 2020. pic.twitter.com/UkFq5iuVD4