Mexico: 18 people dead in shooting amid new gun trafficking lawsuit
By James Blears & Linda Bordoni
Attackers killed 18 people when they opened fire in a city hall in San Miguel Totolapan, a town in southern Mexico.
The victims included town Mayor Conrado Mendoza and his father who was also killed in the shooting on Wednesday.
Local sources said the gunmen appeared to have carried out a coordinated series of attacks inside the building with the aim of killing the mayor. They also said the attackers were presumed to belong to an armed group called Los Tequileros, a criminal gang linked to a powerful drug cartel.
Meanwhile, the government said it will file a new lawsuit in the United States seeking responsibility for cross-border gun flows.
More than seventy percent of firearms illegally smuggled into Mexico, come from the United States. This withering firepower, arms the drug cartels to the teeth and their henchmen often outgun the Mexican Police and even the Armed Forces.
Mexico`s Drug War which has been raging for more than sixteen years and is ongoing, has claimed a quarter of a million lives. That is why the Mexican Government is so determined.
The latest move comes from Mexico`s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. He outlined the strategy in a speech to the Mexican Senate.
This time, he`s targeting gun dealers, particularly in the US Border States. This fresh law suit is going to be lodged in Arizona, which is within close range of the Border. It focuses on so called straw purchasers who buy stacks of guns, often semi-automatics from dealers and then illegally sell them to smugglers who supply Mexican crime to murderous effect, for huge blood money profits.
Mexico is demanding ten billion dollars in compensation and accuses the US of protecting gun manufacturers from the harm their firearms may inflict in criminal hands. But it remains to be seen if the gun shops and the illegal buyers from them, can be a target for a legal loophole.
Mexico has very strict laws preventing law abiding citizens from owning a gun for self-protection. So, it`s ironic that the Mexican cartels have a limitless supply plus endless ammunition, to wage their constant and unremitting reign of terror nationwide.