Mexico says lawsuit against US arms companies is moving forward

© Provided by Agencia EFE

Mexico City, March 14 (EFE) .- The Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, said on Monday that the Mexican government’s lawsuit against the United States arms manufacturing companies continues.

“We are moving forward, the response from the arms manufacturers is given in the expected terms, there are no surprises. We have the necessary elements to win,” Ebrard said in a message on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the SRE said this day, through a statement, that the companies presented their response to the reply submitted by the Mexican Foreign Ministry on behalf of the Government of Mexico, on January 31, as part of the actions of the civil case that is pending in the United States District Court in Boston, Massachusetts.

The suit accuses US gun shops “of their negligent business practices that favor arms trafficking to our country.”

In addition, the SRE recalled that the original procedural calendar provided for its response to be submitted on February 28, but the forcefulness of the legal arguments of the Mexican Government and the broad support received through briefs from Friends of the Court forced them to this extension.

“As expected, the companies individually questioned the ability of the Government of Mexico to sue in Massachusetts and the link between their negligent actions and the damage caused by their weapons in Mexican territory,” the Mexican Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In addition, he said that the companies “insist on arguing that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms (PLCAA) law offers them immunities, even when the criminal acts caused with their weapons have occurred outside the United States.”

On January 31, 2022, the legal representatives of the Government of Mexico argued in the response brief that the United States Congress, “when legislating they do so thinking that the laws only have scope in their territory, and when their intention is that apply beyond their country, they state this explicitly in the law”.

Therefore, he said, the Government of Mexico “maintains that PLCAA does not offer any immunity to arms companies for damages caused by criminal acts committed with their weapons in Mexico.”

Given this scenario, the SRE said that it will carry out the corresponding analysis of the response briefs of the defendant companies and will continue to report on the development of this litigation.

At the end of January, Ebrard estimated that this year the lawsuit filed by the Government of Mexico in 2021 against 11 arms manufacturers in the United States for negligence and promoting illicit trafficking must be resolved this year.

In addition, he reiterated that Mexico’s diplomatic priority for 2022 is to combat arms trafficking, particularly from the United States.

The Government attributes a large part of the violence in Mexico to weapons, which registered 33,308 homicides in 2021 after the two most violent years in its history, under the mandate of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with 34,690 murder victims in 2019 and 34,554 in 2020.

(c) EFE Agency

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