“Bad neighbours are like scorching winds, they are silent destroyers.” Are you seeing the picture below? The picture from ‘Our World in Data’ depicts the number of homicides committed by firearms in nations across the world. The intensity of red increases where homicides are higher. One country, in specific, stands out. Mexico.
It’s one of the countries with the highest number of homicides committed by firearms. The firearms make their way into Mexico through the US. Now, the Mexican government has drawn swords against US guns.
The Mexican government has sued five gun dealers in Arizona, alleging that they were involved in the smuggling of illegal guns into Mexico. The complaint asserts that the dealers are contributing to the horrific cartel warfare that takes place in Mexico.
The gun dealers are accused of “systematically participating” in the trafficking of firearms and ammunition to Mexican cartels in the case, which was filed on Monday in a U.S. District Court in Arizona.
Yes! In the US Court itself.
To put things in perspective, between 2006 and the end of 2018, the estimated number of individuals killed by organised gun warfare in Mexico is 150, 000.
Yes, 150,000. The number doesn’t even include the almost 73,000 people who have been reported missing during the same time frame. In recent years, violence has increased as larger cartels have split up into smaller, rival organisations. Between 2015 and 2020, the national homicide rate in Mexico soared by an astounding 84 percent.
And, between 2014 and 2018, 56,000 criminal weapons were tracked from the United States to Mexico. Of the 10 guns that were found, seven were made or sold in the United States.
Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in a twitter video said, “We are suing them because clearly there is a pattern, we contend that it is obvious that there is weapons trafficking and that it is known that these guns are going to our country.” Arizona gun dealers have requested a federal judge to dismiss Mexico’s claim that they sold the drug gangs there the firearms used to kill people.
They assert that they are immune from most civil lawsuits under U.S. law and that Mexico lacks the authority to bring a claim against them for crimes committed by citizens of that nation. The defendants are Sprague Sports of Yuma, Loan Prairie LLC of Tucson, Diamondback Shooting Sports, SNG Tactical, and Ammo A-Z of Phoenix.
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This is not the first time when Mexico has filed a lawsuit against American gun dealers. The $10 billion case that Mexico had previously filed against American gun makers was dismissed by a U.S. federal judge a little more than a week ago. Mexico stated that it would appeal the ruling.
The US and the Biden administration that lecture countries on humanitarian rights every other day have systematically bolstered the US gun dealers.
In America, the firearms industry is basically unregulated. The laws that control how these companies operate are flimsy and weak. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the federal agency tasked with overseeing the sector, has historically been underfunded and politically susceptible, making it practically hard for the agency to carry out consistent, efficient regulatory monitoring efforts.
The gun dealers have been consistently shielded by US law. However, Mexico filing the lawsuit shows it won’t bow down to the ill practices by US administrations and gun dealers. Time will tell how this pans out for Mexico and gun-trafficking.
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