Altreeconomia no. 234
by Caterina Morbiato,
In the country, the army controls the armed supplies destined for the police. An opaque flow which also includes European companies which, however, refuse any responsibility despite a context marked by violence and abuse.
It is September 26, 2014, for hours the rain has been bathing the already dark streets of Iguala, in the State of Guerrero. Bullets also rained in three parts of the town. Municipal police intercepted buses carrying students from Ayotzinapa school – on their way to Mexico City for the 46th anniversary of the Tlatelolco student massacre – and shoot. The attack lasts well into the night. Six people are killed, 25 are injured and 43 Ayotzinapa boys are arrested and forced to disappear. Nothing more will be known about them.
Dozens of cases remain on the wet asphalt. Some of these belong to the G36 assault rifles of the German company Heckler & Koch, one of the most influential manufacturers of light and small arms in the world. However, the G36s are not the only European-made weapons that the Iguala police – which in the Ayotzinapa case were later accused of collusion with the criminal group Guerreros Unidos – had in their possession at the time. In the hands of these police forces there were also 73 assault rifles made in Italy from the Brescia municipality of Gardone Val Trompia and signed by Beretta (contacted by Altrigianato , the company never responded).
Iguala police are not the only Mexican police to have Beretta weapons. From 2006 to 2018 – period in which Mexico fell into an incessant chasm of violence – the Italian company produced more than a third of the 238 thousand weapons purchased by the Secretaría de la defensa nacional (Sedena) and then distributed to local police . With the approval of the Armament Materials Authorization Unit (Uama), a structure within the Italian Foreign Ministry, in the same period Beretta sold 108,660 weapons to Mexico; of these 25 thousand are rifles and other long weapons, both automatic and semi-automatic.