The lawsuit, accepted by the Federal Court in Massachusetts and which could last several years, accuses 11 manufacturing and distribution companies of promoting negligent and illicit commercial practices that facilitate illegal trafficking.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, through his Twitter account, confirmed that the lawsuit filed by the Mexican Government was accepted. At the same time, he described it as a first big step and detailed that now it is necessary to wait for the notification and the legal process.
According to data from local authorities, more than 500,000 weapons are illegally trafficked from the U.S. every year, and, in 2019 alone, they were responsible for more than 17,000 homicides in Mexico. Meanwhile, in 2020, it was estimated that up to two-thirds of homicides in the country were related to organized crime.
A day after filing the lawsuit, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized that these companies "make weapons to suit Mexico's clients who are involved in organized crime" and stressed that the appeal is directed at these private companies and not against the U.S. government.
"The unlawful traffic across the southern U.S. border is not one-way, a fact driven home by the federal lawsuit filed this month by the Mexican government against a host of U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors." - Los Angeles Times https://t.co/0s1GxJpmIp
Meanwhile, Marcelo Ebrard also cited that "the companies know in whose hands they are placing their products. They argue that they no longer have a responsibility when they go on sale, but they do. And of course, they have precise information if someone comes in and buys five Barretts 50".
With this, the Mexican authorities are seeking increased control over weapons in the United States, but they are also demanding financial compensation, the amount of which could exceed 10 billion dollars.
Illegal arms trafficking is one of the most complicated issues in the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the U.S. Various Mexican governments have asked their counterpart to make a greater effort to control arms trafficking in view of Mexico's serious difficulties in controlling its border.
The U.S. arms industry, in response, ruled out any responsibility for the violence in Mexico and pointed the finger at its administration. "The Mexican government is responsible for rampant crime and corruption within its own borders," the Firearms Industry Association NSSF said in a statement.