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Inside Mexico’s Historic Lawsuit Targeting U.S. Gun Companies

Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept
December 27, 2021

Alejandro Celorio Alcántara was not surprised when the responses finally came in. As a top legal adviser in Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Celorio led a team of lawyers in filing a historic lawsuit in August, accusing some of the United States’ most well-known gun companies of lethal negligence on a mass scale. Seeking $10 billion in damages from a decade and a half of shoot outs and killings, the unprecedented litigation aimed to succeed where gun violence victims north of the border are all but guaranteed to fail, asking a Massachusetts federal court to hold 10 U.S.-based companies accountable for their products’ impact abroad.

Coming back from lunch on November 22, the date of the defendants’ deadline to respond, the Mexican lawyer-diplomat found that the companies had done exactly as he expected, arguing that a 2005 law that the National Rifle Association considers one of its greatest legislative achievements, which grants “broad immunity” to gun companies in gun violence lawsuits, is not bound by borders. It extends everywhere, they argued, including Mexico. The companies’ message, as Celorio read it, was simple: “’We don’t care what we’re doing. We don’t care if others don’t like the way we’re doing it. We’re gonna continue to do it.’”

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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images