Alejandro Celorio Alcantara, legal consultant of the Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE), stated that the Government of Mexico you have not yet won or lost the lawsuit you filed in USA against 11 companies for indiscriminate sale of weapons that arrive in our country. However, he admitted that it will be a legal battle that must continue in the next six-year term.
He acknowledged that along with the demand, Mexico will have to do its own job to stop the use of weapons in national territory, for which he said: “we are all committed to continue advancing on this issue, and this government is identifying what things we can do better; the reform to the Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives a very new reform is underway; we actively participate in the treaty of arms trade, and more and more, we are aware that we have to continue working ”.
Alejandro Celorio stated that the containment of the arms trafficking it is as difficult as stopping human trafficking, due to the multiple forms of illegal entry: catapulted, in pieces or in tunnels. For this reason, he said, the government of Mexico has proposed to its US counterpart more sophisticated methods, such as mirror patrols, sharing information to identify trafficking routes and seizing weapons on their way to Mexico.
He argued that while Mexico makes efforts with its limited budget for arms seizures, the United States makes a minor seizure.
During the Peace Seminar that organizes the College of Mexico, the Foreign Ministry official asserted that the Government of Mexico was already waiting for the response arguments offered by the 11 defendant companies on Monday, so, he said, “it is not yet won or lost with the response to the demand.”
He recalled that the Mexican government has until January 31, 2022 to respond, and the defendants until February 28 to reply.
He said not to be surprised that the 11 armories have asked to dismiss the lawsuit under the alleged immunity of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which protects the right of the American people to own and bear arms. He expressed that it is not strange that they have argued that the Government of Mexico cannot sue in the American union.
Celorio Alcántara expressed the possibility that this legal trial extends beyond 2024, for which he considered that the new President of Mexico who takes office that year will have to listen and continue the effort that has been made. He argued that there is a history of transsexual litigation that Mexico has waged, such as a case against British Petroleum, which was resolved with an out-of-court agreement.
The legal advisor of the SRE indicated that the defendant companies not only hired very large firms with many personnel, but also in their response to the lawsuit they offered “box” arguments because they know their business model and know what to answer. He called the immunity argument they offered interesting, because the companies responded as if they were being sued by a United States citizen, and not a foreign government.
He mentioned that the Government of Mexico has a litigation strategy, and that is why it sued in Massachusetts, since he considered that it is a more sophisticated forum, and there the defendants can be linked with their allegations. He stated that it was also strategic to sue the 11 companies in Massachusetts, and not where each company has its headquarters.
He explained that the stores that sell on the border were not sued because the Government of Mexico wanted to go to the roots. He mentioned that if they had been sued, those stores would close and look for another place to continue the sale.
Celorio estimated that during the trial, the companies will acknowledge that they have information about the destination of the weapons they have sold, a situation that the Mexican government will take advantage of to demonstrate that they are making market decisions to increase their sales. He also said he hoped that companies will want to distract attention by saying that there is corruption in Mexico, although he said that his trade has nothing to do with that issue.
On what the Government will do if his claim is dismissed, Celorio Alcántara said that the strategy of the Mexican government is becoming more evident, which is to take the issue to international forums and panels, as it did on Monday before the UN Security Council.
He expressed that the administration of our country wishes, with its demand, that the armories make minimal changes so that they are resolved in a better way, and not with bullets, conflicts and violence in the countries.
He noted that the operation “Fast and Furious” It was not an argument for the lawsuit, but it helps illustrate how the arms trade works.
During the seminar, the international security specialist and external advisor to the Foreign Ministry, Carlos Pérez Ricart, stressed that for the first time there is a State policy to make visible the issue of indiscriminate arms sales and its negative effect on insecurity and violence.
However, he said that although there is a legal battle of the Foreign Ministry in the United States, the rest of the institutions in Mexico do not have public policies aimed at identifying, fighting, confiscating and destroying weapons used by criminal groups.
“You can not be a lamp in the street and darkness in the house,” he said.
Finally, Carlos Pérez estimated that whatever the result of the demand in the US, it will bring changes in the way in which the arms companies they advertise.