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The guns were used during the forced disappearance of 43 teaching students in the state of Guerrero in 2014.

Ricardo Martinez, Vice News
April 7, 2021

Germany has upheld a decision that found employees of a gun manufacturer guilty of falsifying information for licenses to export assault rifles to Mexico. Those weapons were subsequently used by police in one of the country’s worst recent human rights atrocities – the forced disappearance of 43 teaching students in the state of Guerrero in 2014.

The case highlights how although some 70 percent of guns seized in Mexico can be traced to the U.S., arms from other countries are also ending up in the hands of the country’s armed actors – both state agents and organized crime.

John Lindsay-Poland, coordinator at Stop US Arms to Mexico, says many foreign arms manufacturers establish operations in the U.S. because they can license their exports with more lax requirements.

“SEDENA [the Mexican Ministry of Defense] is not telling the exporter governments where the actual end users are – it is only telling the exporting companies,” he says.

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Photo: In 2018, demonstrators in Stuttgart, Germany set up a dummy weapon and portraits of Mexican students who were disappeared and probably killed in Mexico in 2014. Sina Schuldt/DPA/AFP via Getty Images