U.S. Senators asked the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to suspend the sale of arms to the Secretariat of the Navy and Mexican police, arguing that mismanagement leads to human rights abuses and a lack of transparency in the end-users.
The letter, signed on September 14 by four senators (Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Dick Durbin of Illinois), all from the Democratic Party, expresses concern that the weapons leaving the United States do not have clear security mechanisms to prevent them from being used in crimes.
"Given the extensive documentation of widespread infiltration of Mexican police forces by criminal organizations and police and military involvement in atrocities, we hope that the Secretaries of State and Commerce will establish mechanisms to ensure that U.S. firearms do not contribute to these crimes," the message reads.
Cases citing evidence of the use of U.S. weapons in events that ended in human rights abuses include Ayotzinapa in 2014 by municipal police, in the state of Tamaulipas in the Special Operations Group (GOPES), as well as arrests of Navy elements for their involvement in forced disappearances in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas in 2018.
In July of this year, the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) requested the purchase of Sig Sauer brand automatic rifles and silencers for the value of 5.5 million dollars. This purchase, as it is over one million dollars, has to go through the US Congress for approval.
In August of this year, the Mexican government denounced arms manufacturers and suppliers in the United States, alleging that they are flooding the market with weapons that are attractive to the cartels.
Sig Sauer is not among the companies denounced, but it is a company that has provided service on different occasions to the Mexican armed forces. According to the United States Census Bureau, between 2013 and 2019 Sig Sauer has sold 13 thousand weapons to Mexico that are used by the police. Months later, in 2020, the National Guard purchased 50 thousand pistols from Sig Sauer.