Mexico is using U.S. courts to shift blame to gun manufacturers for Mexico’s failure to drag drug cartel leaders and narco-terrorists into its courtrooms. The audacity of the maneuver would be comical if it didn’t have such deadly consequences on both sides of the border.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs, took a victory lap for both himself and the government of Mexico being named The Arms Control Association’s 2021 “Person of the Year.” Ebrarb didn’t earn the distinction because he curbed the illegal gun trafficking, narco-terrorism, and murder that’s plaguing his country. His distinction is mocking America’s judicial system by dragging U.S. firearm manufacturers into court for a $10 billion shakedown that would put America’s gun industry out of business and America’s Second Amendment at the mercy of foreign powers.
Mexico’s government, with the help of the gun control group Brady United, alleges U.S.-based gun manufacturers are negligent in their business practices because Mexican-based drug cartels and narco-terrorists are murdering Mexican citizens. Their lawsuit outrageously claims these companies are knowingly flooding Mexico with illegal guns.
That’s just a plain perversion of basic facts. Moreover, it’s an assault on America’s God-given rights, which, of course, Mexican citizens can’t exercise in their country.
Instead of tackling the rampant crime that has been plaguing Mexico for decades, Ebrard—with the blessing of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his “Hugs, not bullets” approach to violent drug cartels—is shifting the blame for Mexico’s failures. He’s using U.S. courts to do it, scapegoating a lawful industry that’s the convenient target of the ire of the Biden administration and gun control groups, and subjugating constitutionally protected God-given rights to cover up Mexico’s unwillingness to enforce its own laws.
Mexico’s unchecked violence is directly linked to the illicit drug trade, human trafficking, and organized crime cartels that victimize Mexico’s citizens. Ebrarb and Mexico’s government have shown no willingness to meaningfully face this scourge. Their approach instead is a $10 billion squeeze that is doomed to fail.
The negligent practices Ebrarb says are targeting Mexico start right in Mexico City. Mexico has strict gun control laws, but everyone knows that doesn’t stop the cartels. That’s because corruption fueled by the drug trade has rotted away the rule of law.
Instead, Mexican authorities are working with the cartels. Bribery is a way of life. Mexico is ranked as 124 out of 180 countries on a corruption index by the watchdog Transparency International, putting Mexico on the same level with Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Ebrarb claims to want to change the way U.S. firearms manufacturers do business. These are the manufacturers that provide firearms to law-abiding Americans, who must pass an FBI background check to purchase these firearms. This was the case more than 39.5 million times in just the past two years in the United States, with nearly 14 million Americans choosing to become lawful gun owners for the first time.
That’s not how the firearm business is done in Mexico. There’s just one gun retailer and that’s in the heart of a Mexican Army base, in the heart of Mexico City. Even then, only small-caliber handguns and shotguns are allowed for purchase.
Narco-terrorist cartels’ preference for military-grade firearms clearly doesn’t come from the inventory available to the American public. Sales of new automatic firearms to the American public were banned in 1986.
The source, it appears, is south of Mexico and overseas. Automatic guns and rocket-propelled grenades follow drug trade routes back to China, Guatemala, and the black markets in Central and South America. South Korean-made grenades have been recovered at drug cartel crime scenes.
All will agree that Mexico is awash in illegally obtained firearms. Law enforcement on the U.S. side continues to target, arrest, and prosecute those illegally trafficking guns across the border, but this isn’t a practice of firearm manufacturers. Rather, the firearms turning up at cartel crime scenes raise serious questions about Mexico’s commitment to stemming corruption and theft within their own military’s ranks.
Mexico’s military is allegedly losing up to 30 percent of its small arms that are purchased from U.S. manufacturers through military contracts. These aren’t firearms available to the general public. They’re only purchased by Mexico’s military. The corruption isn’t limited to the rank-and-file Mexican soldiers. It’s been witnessed at the highest echelons.
Mexican Gen. Juan Ernesto Antonio Bernal Reyes, a former candidate for Mexican defense secretary, was arrested in Oaxaca on extortion charges in December 2021. Mexico’s Secretary of Defense Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering charges and turned over to Mexican authorities, which declined to pursue charges. Mexico only recently levied charges for seven linked to the Obama administration’s ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious that cost the lives of U.S. Border Patrol agents.
Ten years after the illegal gun-running scheme, we are now seeing charges brought against Genaro García Luna, security chief for Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón from 2006-2012, and former Federal Police commander Luis Cardenas Palomino, a close assistant to García Luna and former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
García Luna sits in a Texas jail on allegations of protecting Mexican drug gangs. Palomino is sitting in a Mexican jail for torture charges. U.S. authorities also accuse him of taking bribes from the Sinaloa cartel. Guzman escaped twice from Mexican prisons before being captured and extradited to the United States, where he now sits in a federal maximum-security prison.
Ebrarb congratulates himself for pursuing the destruction of God-given rights of Americans and using the U.S. legal system to attempt it. He pats himself on the back for backing United Nations policies that label private ownership of firearms a threat to peace and security.
Ebrarb and the Mexican government would be better served by cleaning up the corruption on their side of the border and enforcing their own laws before subverting Americans’ Second Amendment rights and suing law-abiding gun manufacturers to dictate how they do business. We will keep our rights and protect the industry that provides the means to exercise those rights against foreign governments that can’t—or won’t—protect their own citizens.