US judge rejects Mexican lawsuit against American gun makers
NEW YORK, Oct 1, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - A US judge on Friday dismissed a $10 billion lawsuit by Mexico against American gun manufacturers which it accused of fueling drug trafficking and violence in that country.
"Unfortunately for the government of Mexico, all of its claims are either barred by federal law or fail for other reasons," Judge Dennis Saylor of a federal court in Boston wrote.
"While the court has considerable sympathy for the people of Mexico, and none whatsoever for those who traffic guns to Mexican criminal organizations, it is duty-bound to follow the law," Saylor wrote in a 44-page decision.
Mexico filed the suit in August 2021 against nine US gun manufacturers and two distributors -- including Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Colt, Glock, Century Arms, Ruger and Barrett -- for what it deemed a "negligent and illicit" trade that encourages drug trafficking and violence in its territory.
The Mexican government maintains that 70-90 percent of the weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico have been trafficked from the United States.
The litigation sought compensation for the damage caused by the firms' alleged "negligent practices," as well as the implementation of adequate standards to "monitor and discipline" arms dealers.
Mexico, with a population of 126 million, has been plagued by widespread deadly violence since December 2006, when the government of then-president Felipe Calderon launched a controversial military anti-drug operation.
Since then, according to government figures, more than 300,000 people have been murdered in Mexico, the majority by firearms and in events related to drug trafficking.
Mexico tightly controls weapons sales; they are practically impossible to access legally.