Mexico wins ‘a round’ against the US: Court allows US arms manufacturers to be sued

The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the United States, based in Boston, Massachusetts, issued a ruling favorable to Mexico: sue American weapons manufacturers.

Through a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) reported that, in an ‘unprecedented’ event, a US panel unanimously resolved that Mexico demonstrated that companies that manufacture and distribute weapons do not enjoy immunity. by “negligent business practices” that facilitate the illicit trafficking of their products.

The Court of Appeals determined that the trial judge improperly dismissed Mexico’s claim. Therefore, the Court ordered that the matter return to the first instance to continue its development.

In August 2021, the Government of Mexico filed a civil lawsuit for damages against companies that manufacture weapons in the United States, which facilitate their trafficking to Mexican territory.

In September 2022, the first instance judge dismissed the lawsuit considering that the law of immunities called Law on Protection of Legal Trade in Arms (PLCAA) did protect the defendant companies, even when the damage occurs in Mexican territory.

For this reason, Mexico presented the appeal in a timely manner. The AMLO administration’s lawsuit is the first that a foreign state presents against the industry before the United States courts.

The Government of Mexico ‘celebrated’ the decision issued by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, “which was highly receptive to the sophisticated arguments presented by our country in defense of its interests and those of its population.”

Once the matter returns to the first instance, evidence will be presented to demonstrate the negligence of the defendants, seeking to obtain compensation for the damage that will be determined by the judge.

According to the Mexican Foreign Ministry, firearms trafficking and the violence committed with these products strongly affect the lives of Mexicans and the development of the country.