Mexico hopes arms demand will cause changes in the industry: officials

Archive image. A federal agent removes a .50 caliber Barrett rifle as part of the arsenal seized from Valencia Salazar, leader of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, in Mexico City, Mexico. March 12, 2012. REUTERS / Tomas Bravo (MEXICO – Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)

MEXICO CITY, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Mexico hopes that the lawsuit it filed in a United States court against major arms manufacturers for negligent business practices will force the industry to change, despite efforts by companies to change. dismiss the case, Mexican officials said Friday.

The Mexican government argues that the companies knew their practices had encouraged illegal arms trafficking into Mexico, which helped cause thousands of deaths by mafias. The arms industry has rejected Mexico’s accusations.

The firms, including Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms and Colt’s Manufacturing Co, have until Monday to respond to the lawsuit that Mexico filed in a Massachusetts court in August, and Mexican officials are confident they are winning the argument.

In a briefing with journalists, officials said that once more facts about the industry became known during the process, firearms manufacturers would have to improve their practices.

One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that after discussions on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit are over, the case will get to the bottom of the matter. Once the discovery process is open, “I assure that companies are going to self-regulate,” he added.

The official said Mexico expected companies to say that corruption in Mexico and other flaws were to blame for the illicit entry of arms into the country, and to use other arguments to deflect their own responsibility.

Noting that holding arms manufacturers to account had widespread support in Mexico, the official said that if companies tried to blame Mexican corruption, Mexico would end up talking about corruption in the application of US law at the border and on paper. of the National Rifle Association in American politics.

Attorneys for the arms companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Dave Graham. Additional reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston. Edited in Spanish by Miguel Angel Gutiérrez)



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