A new report published by an international coalition of peace organisations explores the way arms companies in Europe and Israel are fuelling violence in Mexico. The report - called "Deadly Trade: How European and Israeli arms exports are eaccelerating violence in Mexico" is based on research by eight organizations and a review of more than 9,000 pages Mexican military documents never before made public. It can be accessed online here: https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/
The report explores how weapons companies based in Europe and Israel have exported more than 238,000 firearms to Mexico for use by police between 2006 and 2018, in addition to thousands of weapons for military use. Gun homicides and other violence by state forces and criminal organizations increased dramatically during this period, while policies in arms exporting countries that neglect or violate human rights have contributed to the violence. Weapons identified in the report include machine guns military-grade assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, semi-automatic handguns.
The report identifies a number of companies exporting weapons to Mexico, including:
- Beretta: sold 108,660 weapons including 25,000 rifles and other long guns
- Heckler & Koch: 19,123 firearms, such as pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, and launchers. Half of the 10,000 G36 rifles exported ended up being used by police in states they were specifically banned from exporting to.
- Sig Sauer: between 2011 and 2019, Sig Sauer sold at least 13,174 firearms for use by police in Mexico. In April 2020, Sig Sauer exported 50,000 pistols to Mexico from the US for use by the newly formed National Guard.
- Walther: since 2006, Mexico has received 3,098 pistols manufactured by Walther
- Israeli Weapons Industry: in 2012 an end use certificate submitted to the U.S. State Department by SEDENA (Mexican Secretariat of National Defense) requested the export of 1,010 Galil assault rifles manufactured by Israeli Weapons Industry to Mexico, at a value of US$1.7 million.
- FN Herstal: including over 4000 MINIMI-machine guns and 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns.
- Česká Zbrojovka: exports include 2,600 CZ 805 BREN assault rifles and CZ P-09 5,000 handguns.
The report also identifies cases of serious human rights abuses carried out by police units known to use weapons produced by European and Israeli arms companies. For example, weapons produced by Beretta and Heckler & Koch have been used by police units involved in the forced disappearance of 43 student teachers from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in September 2014, and National Gendarmerie officers - who are armed with weapons produced by Czech company Česká Zbrojovka - on April 6, 2016 arbitrarily detained and tortured a 17-year-old adolescent.
The report was written by: Global Exchange (US), OPAL (Italy), American Friends Service Committee (Israel), Ohne Rüstung Leben (Germany), NESEHNUTÍ (Czech Republic), Vredesactie (Belgium), Agir Pour la Paix (Belgium), Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, and the Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos (Mexico) It can be accessed online here: https://stopusarmstomexico.org/deadly-trade/