Mexico’s sues USA gun makers to bring gun trafficking issue to the center stage.
Mexico alleges, “Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Glock Inc, Sturm, Ruger & Co and others knew their business practices had encouraged illegal arms trafficking into Mexico,” Reuters.com 8/4/21. The lawsuit reported over 500,000 guns from the listed manufacturers are trafficked annually and are directly linked to thousands of murders in Mexico. Why such a far-reaching allegation? Mexico wants ten billion dollars in compensation damages.
Which Came First— Dictators, Drugs, or Guns?
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, the leading contender for Mexico’s next presidential election, presented the lawsuit. According to NPR.org, “The Mexican government wants to put arms trafficking at the center of the conversation with the United States,” says Cecilia Farfán-Méndez, the head of security research programs at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for US-Mexico Studies. Why then $10 billion dollars in damages? Why not a call for reformation? Money isn’t going to solve Mexico’s violence problems—it never has.
No Money, No Walls
Central American’s have been wrestling with economic struggle and violence for decades. Fortune writers and documentary directors of Blood on the Wall, Junger and Quested, reported, “U.S. government has supported Central American Neocolonial dictatorships, whose rampant corruption has destroyed [Central America’s] local economies… [In 2019 U.S.] sent more than $162 million in aid to Honduras, [which has been] connected to drug trafficking.” If money enables, then perhaps America should close its borders and build a wall, like Trump suggested.
“Some Americans perceive these migrants as threats to national security. But as we have learned over the past two years while traversing Central America to film our new documentary, Blood on the Wall, nothing could be further from the truth. The individuals we met didn’t leave the only homes they’d ever known by choice. They fled to avoid rape, injury, or death at the hands of violent gangs, in hopes of finding better economic opportunities and safety in the U.S.,” Junger & Quested. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
We are a nation built on the promise of hope and history filled with lives changed by no walls. Our own Statue of Liberty cries, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Does this mean our country opens the flood gates and allows anyone entrance without price? No! What should be the price? If people come here seeking a better life, have them pay through work. Forget the wall. Build schools that teach skills and American law necessary for citizenship. Bring them into the taxpaying burden honestly, as the rest of American’s must do.
Is it America’s Problem to Solve?
Mexican officials claim, “[America’s only] concerned about drug trafficking, well we’re just as concerned about firearms trafficking'” (Fortune.com Sept. 23, 2020). But according to the National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) “Mexican [Transnational Criminal Organizations] TCOs remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States.” Also, ironically, the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment reported, “U.S. drug sales continue to account for tens of billions of dollars in illicit proceeds annually,” the same amount Mexico is vying for in gun trafficking damages.
According to Forbes writer Flannery, Mexicos President Lopez Obrador, “not only uses divisive rhetoric” against his citizens and reporters (who ironically bolster his efforts to “moralize and cajole” the country to be better), but “he struggles to design effective policy reform” and will not look to other successful countries for help. He “resurrects the Troglodyte Era doctrine of not commenting on other country’s human rights records. That [is] the recourse of dictators.”
Mexico needs better leadership. Leaders who will not blame (its citizens, reporters, and neighboring countries). They need government who will step down from royalty status and unite with their people in poverty. Together as one nation, they can improve the living conditions for all. When the citizens don’t feel the need to flee the country, or join the cartel to survive, then poverty and drug lords will die out. Blaming American gun makers, giving millions in bailouts, or electing kleptocratic politicians are not solutions. Mexico eliminate corruption from the top.
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenagers!”Patrick Jake O’Rourke