Mexico sues US gun manufacturers over arms trafficking


Mexico City – August 5 (Online): The Mexican government has sued some of the biggest US gun manufacturers, accusing them of fuelling bloodshed through reckless business practices.
The lawsuit alleges that the companies knew they were contributing to illegal arms trafficking, which has been linked to many deaths.
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 BBC has contacted both companies for comment.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday 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”.
Mexican officials said that some of the guns made by Colt appeared to target the Mexican market in particular, such as a pistol engraved with the face and name of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata.