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Mexican Government Drags US Gun Manufacturers To Court Over Arms Trafficking, Bloodshed

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The Mexican government has sued some of the biggest US gun manufacturers arguing that their negligent and illegal commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico.

According to BBC, officials say Mexico is seeking as much as $10bn (£7.2bn) in compensation, though any amount would be decided by the court.

The companies have not yet commented.

They include Smith & Wesson and Barrett Firearms, among others.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, 4 August, in the US state of Massachusetts. It says the Mexican government took the action “to put an end to the massive damage that the companies cause by actively facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico”.

The gun manufacturers “are conscious of the fact that their products are trafficked and used in illicit activities against the civilian population and authorities of Mexico”, the Foreign Ministry said in a document related to the lawsuit.

Mexico said the companies had used “marketing strategies to promote weapons that are ever more lethal, without mechanisms of security or traceability”.

The Mexican government estimates that some 70% of weapons trafficked to the country come from the US, according to the Associated Press news agency. In 2019 alone, more than 17,000 murders in Mexico were linked to trafficked weapons.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said: “We are going to win the trial and we are going to drastically reduce illicit arms trafficking to Mexico.”Mexican officials stressed that the lawsuit was not aimed at the US government. Mr. Ebrard said he believed President Joe Biden’s administration was willing to work with Mexico to curb arms trafficking.

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