Showing posts with label Current Stats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Current Stats. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Mexico Sues Gun Companies in U.S. - Poverty Up In Mexico - Indigenous Kids Suffer From Lack of Education In Mex -Current TIJ August Stats y "En Ninguno de los Hechos se Reportan Personas Detenidas"


Courtesy Zeta

No doubt about it - the rhetorical battles over this one are already roaring.

 ~ From AP: 

 Mexico Sues US Gun Manufacturers Over Arms Trafficking Toll




"MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government sued United States gun manufacturers and distributors Wednesday in U.S. federal court, arguing that their negligent and illegal commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico.

The unusual lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court in Boston. Among those being sued are some of the biggest names in guns, including: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.; Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc.; Beretta U.S.A. Corp.; Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, and Glock Inc. Another defendant is Interstate Arms, a Boston-area wholesaler that sells guns from all but one of the named manufacturers to dealers around the U.S.

The manufacturers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 


The Mexican government argues that the companies know that their practices contribute to the trafficking of guns to Mexico and facilitate it. Mexico wants compensation for the havoc the guns have wrought in its country.

The Mexican government “brings this action to put an end to the massive damage that the Defendants cause by actively facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico,” the lawsuit said.

The government estimates that 70% of the weapons trafficked to Mexico come from the U.S., according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. And that in 2019 alone, at least 17,000 homicides were linked to trafficked weapons.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the U.S. firearm industry’s trade association, said in a statement that it rejected Mexico’s allegations of negligence.

“These allegations are baseless. The Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders,” said Lawrence G. Keane, the group’s senior vice president and general counsel. The Mexican government is responsible for enforcing its laws, he said.

The group also took issue with Mexico’s figures for the number of guns recovered at crime scenes and traced back to the U.S. It said that traces were attempted on only a fraction of the recovered guns and only on the ones carrying a serial number, making them more likely to have originated in the U.S.

Alejandro Celorio, legal advisor for the ministry, told reporters Wednesday that the damage caused by the trafficked guns would be equal to 1.7% to 2% of Mexico’s gross domestic product. The government will seek at least $10 billion in compensation, he said. Mexico’s GDP last year was more than $1.2 trillion.

“We don’t do it to pressure the United States,” Celorio said. “We do it so there aren’t deaths in Mexico.”

Ebrard said the lawsuit was another piece of the government’s efforts against guns. “The priority is that we reduce homicides,” he said. “We aren’t looking to change American laws.”

Mexico did not seek the advice of the U.S. government on the matter, but advised the U.S. Embassy before filing the lawsuit.

Steve Shadowen, the lead attorney representing Mexico, said that in the early 2000s about 30 U.S. cities brought similar litigation against gun manufacturers arguing that they should be responsible for increased police, hospitalization and other costs associated with gun violence.

As some cities started winning, gun manufacturers went to Congress and got an immunity statute for the manufacturers. Shadowen said he believes that immunity doesn’t apply when the injury occurs outside the United States.

“The merits of the case are strongly in our favor and then we have to get around this immunity statute which we think we’re going to win,” he said. “That statute just simply doesn’t apply. It only applies when you’re in the United States.”

He said he believes it is the first time a foreign government has sued the gun manufacturers.

Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and expert on gun policy, called Mexico’s effort a “long shot.”

“It is a bold and innovative lawsuit,” he said. “We haven’t seen anything like this before. The gun manufacturers have enjoyed broad immunity from lawsuits for now two decades.”

He said he had not seen arguments that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act applies only to damages in the United States.

The sale of firearms is severely restricted in Mexico and controlled by the Defense Department. But thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico by the country’s powerful drug cartels.

There were more than 36,000 murders in Mexico last year, and the toll has remained stubbornly high despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s pledge to pacify the country. Mexico’s nationwide murder rate in 2020 remained unchanged at 29 per 100,000 inhabitants. By comparison, the U.S. homicide rate in 2019 was 5.8 per 100,000.

In August 2019, a gunmen killed 23 people in an El Paso Walmart, including some Mexican citizens. At that time, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the government would explore its legal options. The government said Wednesday that recent rulings in U.S. courts contributed to its decision to file the lawsuit.

It cited a decision in California allowing a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson to move forward, a lawsuit filed last week against Century Arms related to a 2019 shooting in Gilroy, California, and the $33 million settlement reached by Remington with some of the families whose children were killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary mass school shooting.

Winkler, the UCLA professor, mentioned the Sandy Hook lawsuit as one that initially few thought would go anywhere.

“The plaintiffs in that case made an innovative and bold argument, too,” he said. “They argued that the immunity statute does not prevent these gun makers from being held liable where they act negligently.”

“Over the past year or so, we’ve seen some cracks in the immunity armor provided by federal law,” Winkler said. “Even if this lawsuit moves forward, it will be extremely difficult for Mexico to win because it will be hard to show that this distribution process or their distribution practices are a manifestation of negligence on the part of the gun makers.” 



More US coverage:


 ~ From The New York Times: via MSN:

Mexico Sues Gun Companies In U.S. Accusing Them Of Fueling Violence 

 Natalie Kitroeff and Oscar Lopez

 "MEXICO CITY — For years, Mexican officials have complained that lax U.S. gun control was responsible for devastating bloodshed in Mexico. On Wednesday, they moved their campaign into American courts, filing a lawsuit against 10 gun companies. 

T he lawsuit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, was the first time that a national government has sued gun makers in the United States, officials said. The suit accuses the companies of actively facilitating the flow of weapons to powerful drug cartels, and fueling a traffic in which 70 percent of guns traced in Mexico are found to have come from the United States.

“For decades, the government and its citizens have been victimized by a deadly flood of military-style and other particularly lethal guns that flows from the U.S. across the border,” the lawsuit reads. The flood of weaponry is “the foreseeable result of the defendants’ deliberate actions and business practices.”

The government cited as an example three guns made by Colt that appear to directly target a Mexican audience, with Spanish nicknames and themes that resonate in Mexico. One of them, a special edition .38 pistol, is engraved with the face of the Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata and a quote that has been attributed to him: “It is better to die standing than to live on your knees.”

That was the pistol used by a gunman in 2017 to kill the Mexican investigative journalist Miroslava Breach Velducea, the government said. A member of a group linked to the powerful Sinaloa cartel was convicted of her murder last year.

Legal experts questioned the lawsuit’s ultimate chances, given that U.S. federal law guarantees gun manufacturers a strong shield against being sued by victims of gun violence and their relatives. But some said the lawsuit could lend political support to the strengthening of gun regulations in the United States, which are among the loosest in the hemisphere.

“It’s a bit of a long shot,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “It may just be a way to get the attention of the federal government and Biden and the White House so they can sit down and make a deal.”

Mexico has strict laws regulating the sale and private use of guns, and the nation’s drug trafficking groups often arm themselves with American weapons. The Justice Department found that 70 percent of the firearms submitted for tracing in Mexico between 2014 and 2018 originated in the United States.

“These weapons are intimately linked to the violence that Mexico is living through today,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The government argues in the lawsuit that American gunmakers knowingly facilitate the sale of arms to criminal groups in Mexico by marketing their wares in ways that appeal to drug traffickers and refusing to put responsible restrictions on sales.

Gunmakers sell to any distributor with a license, the suit says, “despite blazing red flags indicating that a gun dealer is conspiring with straw purchasers or others to traffic defendants’ guns into Mexico.”

For years, Mexico had focused on pressing American officials to crack down on gun smuggling at the border. Smugglers routinely enlist Americans with clean criminal records to buy several guns at a time, often from different shops, and then drive the guns across the border, officials say.

With its move on Wednesday, Mexico is expanding the effort to targeting gun companies themselves. Mexican government officials said they had been closely watching several recent U.S. cases involving gun manufacturers, including the lawsuit brought against Remington by families of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.

The families are now considering a $33 million settlement offered by the company, after legal proceedings that lasted seven years and, experts say, opened a new path for victims of gun violence to hold manufacturers accountable. The Sandy Hook case took advantage of an exemption written into the federal law protecting gunmakers that allows for litigation against the companies if their marketing practices violate state or federal laws.

But legal experts cast doubt on whether the Mexican government could convince the Massachusetts court that gunmakers had knowingly facilitated the sale of firearms to cartels or had engaged in illegal marketing. Selling to retailers who may have links to criminal groups isn’t necessarily a crime.

“Even if it’s careless, they’re not liable,” said Tim Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University.

And it will be difficult to show that companies that put Mexican icons on their guns were trying to appeal to cartel hit men, the experts said.

“It’s perfectly legal to have Mexican revolutionary heroes on your gun,” said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA. “There’s no law that prohibits that.”

In Washington, the White House noted that President Biden has urged Congress to repeal the federal statute that shields gunmakers from lawsuits. “President Biden remains committed to Congressional repeal,” said Michael Gwin, a White House spokesman. “While that law remains on the books, gun manufacturers and distributors should be held accountable — to the extent legally possible — when they violate the law.”

American gun laws have clear links to the ebb and flow of violence in Mexico, experts say. When the U.S. assault weapons ban ended in 2004, the government noted in the suit, gun makers “exploited the opening to vastly increase production, particularly of the military-style assault weapons favored by the drug cartels.”

Soon after, killings in Mexico began to rise, reaching record levels in 2018, when more than 36,000 people were murdered across the country.

The Mexican government is being represented by lawyers from Hilliard Shadowen, a Texas law firm specializing in class-action lawsuits, and by Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the gun control organization.

The suit was filed the day after Mr. Ebrard, the foreign minister, attended a ceremony commemorating the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart store that killed 23 people, including several Mexican citizens.

Despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s campaign promise to stanch the bloodshed by tackling the root cause of violence, a strategy he called “hugs not bullets,” the authorities have so far been unable to make much headway.

Since Mr. López Obrador’s landslide victory three years ago, killings have declined by less than 1 percent. So far this year, more than 16,000 people have been murdered in Mexico, according to government figures.

The companies named in the suit are Smith & Wesson; Barrett Firearms Manufacturing; Beretta U.S.A.; Beretta Holding; Century International Arms; Colt’s Manufacturing Company; Glock, Inc.; Glock Ges.m.b.H; Sturm, Ruger & Co.; and the gun supplier Witmer Public Safety Group, doing business as Interstate Arms.

The companies named in the lawsuit did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry association, issued a statement denying accusations that the gun makers had participated in negligent business practices.

“Mexico’s criminal activity is a direct result of the illicit drug trade, human trafficking and organized crime cartels that plague Mexico’s citizens,” said Lawrence G. Keane, the group’s general counsel. He added that the Mexican government “is solely responsible for enforcing its laws — including the country’s strict gun control laws — within their own borders.”

An official from Mexico’s foreign ministry said that the ultimate goal of the suit was getting U.S. gun makers to be more responsible in the sale and marketing of their arms. The suit does not specify how much compensation the government is seeking, but Foreign Ministry officials said they had calculated up to $10 billion in potential damages."

Katie Rogers contributed reporting from Washington.


 Interesting and I am thinking on this but also wondering why this lawsuit wasn't initiated during Trump's tenure - oh right, the gun manufacturers are his buddies and hoping of course this lawsuit isn't merely a distraction or will fuel U.S. gun lovers and right wing animosity towards Mexico (which it already has; read the comments at the NY Times.) 

Well, we'll watch this and see where it goes and also support Biden's attempts to curb the gun violence and repeal the statute which protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

 Update/edit:: I needed to sleep on this and I realized the thousands of times we have crossed the Border, we have been pulled over to secondary at the POE countless times, and yet crossing back into Mexico at Chaparral, we have only been pulled over for inspection twice.  And, the Mexican inspections we encountered were pure Mickey Mouse compared to the total shakedowns by CBP which we don't mind, we salute them for that.

Don't get me wrong, I am for a modified  and better assault weapons ban, compared to 1994.  I hate these weapons. My point is, if our guys are able to do such utter complete searches, why can't Mexico? I rarely see vehicles pulled over for inspection at Chaparral - plus they have the freakin Army there for backup. What gives ? Since this is the case at Chaparral which is supposed to be the most modernized border crossing, it makes you wonder how flimsy inspections must be going into Mexico all along the Border.  Well, it makes me wonder. They have the x-ray equipment  and technology- isn't it working? Why don't they use it ? Is it broken ? Don't they care what is coming in ?

BTW, check this out: increase in poverty in Mexico:


AP: Poverty Increase In Mexcio Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


Which of course as we all know, will lead to increased crime. 


 This just in:


 ~ From Foreign Policy:

Mexico's School Closures Are Increasing Inequality

"With schools shut for over a year, limited access to technology is exacerbating the education gap, leaving Indigenous communities behind."

 Meanwhile, the refrigerator broke, we are having a guy come to try to fix it.

I hope he can fix it !

end edit


 Meanwhile, overall in Baja California this month of August, there have been 25 executions; Zeta mentions one of these was in Rosarito Beach, but there are no details:

Se Registran 15 Homicidios en BC

Destacados -   - miércoles, 4 agosto, 2021 3:30 PM


"In the last hours, 15 homicides were registered in Baja California, eight of them in Tijuana, three in Mexicali, three in Ensenada and one in Rosarito. With these events, the number of violent deaths rises to 25 in August and 1,896 so far in 2021.

According to statistics from the State Attorney General's Office, Tijuana adds 16 intentional homicides this month, the latest crimes were documented between Tuesday morning and the early hours of this Wednesday."


 Update: We are up to 21 executions in TIJ and..."En ninguno de los hechos se reportan personas detenidas."


From Zeta:

21 Muertos en los Primeros Dias de Agosto en Tijuana 

Destacados jueves, 5 agosto, 2021 12:25 PM 


end edit.


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Exception.....we do need  education guys especially these days, along with electric cars.... still...boss guitars....