Mexico on Wednesday filed a major lawsuit against the United States gun manufacturers for the massive damage caused by “the unlawful trafficking of guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico”.
The government of president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made it a priority to stem the flow of illicit US arms across its northern border. Mexico has experienced record high homicide rates in recent years and is seeking compensation for damages, which it estimates to be as high as US$ 10 billion, government officials said at the presentation of the lawsuit at a US Federal District Court in Boston.
Mexican authorities say that the vast majority of guns recovered at crime scenes are from the United States, smuggled into the country by powerful cartels. The sale of arms in Mexico is severely restricted.
The lawsuit alleges that special units from Smith & Wesson, Barrett, Beretta, Colt, Glock, Sturm, Ruger among others are well aware that their business practices lead to intense illegal arms trafficking into Mexico.
The lawsuit also includes the Interstate Arms, a Boston based gun wholesaler which trades firearms from most of the manufacturers named is the lawsuit to dealers all over the US.
The lawyers with the case say that two court actions against gun manufacturers currently in US courts in California, as well as a US$ 33 million settlement with Remington and some of the families of children and teachers killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut in 2012, have opened a path for the demand.
It is estimated that the war on drug lords has claimed the lives of some 300,000 Mexicans in the last fourteen years, while another 73,000 have gone missing.