News   /   Mexico

Mexico files new lawsuit, accuses five US gun manufacturers of weapons trafficking

A Mexican soldier guards a checkpoint as federal policemen search cars for drugs and weapons at a border crossing bridge in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. (Photo by Reuters)

The Mexican government has filed a second lawsuit against the US firearms industry, after a Massachusetts court last month dismissed its first case against American gunmakers.

The new suit filed on Monday against the US border state of Arizona, seeks sanctions against five arms dealers, which it says have sold guns that were used in serious crimes in Mexico, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

"It's evident that there is arms trafficking, and that it's known that these weapons are aimed at our country," Ebrard said in a video posted on social media.

He added that if the United States wants Mexico to cooperate in the war on drugs, "we also want them to help us by reducing this flow of weapons that does us a lot of harm."

The case, filed in a federal district court in Tucson, targets Diamondback Shooting Sports, SNG Tactical, Loan Prairie, Ammo A-Z, and Sprague's Sports, the Foreign Ministry said.

"Each defendant knowingly participates in trafficking guns into Mexico," according to the lawsuit, which accuses the dealers of violating the US anti-racketeering law known as RICO.

SnG Tactical and Sprague's Sports declined to comment. The other dealers did not respond to requests for comment.

Mexican leaders have for years blasted illegal arms smuggling from the United States, with military-style guns often turning up at deadly crime scenes in the country.

The new lawsuit follows the dismissal by a federal judge in late September of a historic $10 billion lawsuit filed by Mexico against US gun manufacturers last year seeking to hold them responsible for facilitating the trafficking of weapons to drug cartels.

Mexico is appealing the dismissal of the first lawsuit filed, saying it will go up to the US Supreme Court this time.

More than half a million weapons are trafficked into Mexico from the United States annually, according to the government of the Latin American nation.

Mexico has seen more than 340,000 murders since 2006 when it deployed the military in the fight on drugs trafficking, most of them blamed on criminal gangs.

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