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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Mexico Takes on the Yanqui ‘Merchants of Death’

Last year, on August 4, the government of México sued a number of US gun manufacturers for “facilitating” the trafficking of huge amounts of guns into México. Nearly all these guns end up in the hands of criminal pistoleros working for the drug carteles, the supposed main target of the racist US “War on Drugs.”

With this lawsuit, Mexico has become the first foreign government to sue the US gun industry’s major players, our epoch’s literal “merchants of death.” In search of profits, gun makers like Glock, Colt, and Smith & Wesson annually maneuver into México tens of thousands of illegal weapons. They follow the same playbook in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The likely fate of the Mexican government’s lawsuit remains unclear. But the suit already represents a striking challenge to the US gun makers’ longstanding legal shield.


México itself does have quite strict gun laws, but the yanqui death merchants, working through middlemen with ties to corrupt government officials, regularly find a way to score their enormous gun profits. Some 70 to 90 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes come from the United States. The sin verguenza US gun merchants even utilize iconic Mexican imagery — Emiliano Zapata, for instance — to sell their deadly products to Mexican pistoleros. And the label “merchants of death” in no way exaggerates the carnage the US gunmakers cause. The Mexican government estimates that 17,000 homicides in Mexico have a link to illicitly trafficked weapons.


The imperial US has invaded Mexico many times. But these days, no need to bother sending troops. The US instead utilizes economic movidas like NAFTA and maquiladoras to steal México’s wealth. In this environment, gun smuggling serves as just another source of super-profits — and these super-profits are driving the violence and chaos that stands in the way of Mexican sovereignty and equitable economic development.


With the new gun lawsuit, México has stood up the death dealers. And the first to support México’s challenge in el Norte should be the Chican@-Latin@ and African American communities that all suffer from the tragic and ongoing epidemic of gun violence. All of us who believe in justice should stand up with México in its efforts to hold the yanqui gun makers accountable. Si se puede!

Bill Gallegos, a long-time Chicano
liberation activist, environmental
justice leader, and revolutionary
socialist, has a lot to howl about.