Gun manufacturing companies in the United States have pistol designs specifically aimed at the Mexican market, particularly organized crime groups. El jefe, El grito, El jefe de jefes, and Emiliano Zapata 1911, are some of these models that are even offered through the Internet.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) emphasized that this type of weaponry represents "a status symbol" for criminals, and warned about the damage and impact for the country of the illicit trafficking of these weapons since they are mainly in the hands of organized crime groups; in addition, conservative figures indicate that half a million weapons enter Mexico illicitly each year and 70 percent come from the United States.
Among those promoted with Mexican motifs on gun sales portals, some manufactured by the Colt company stand out. One is the Emiliano Zapata 1911: .38 caliber, in black and gold tones. It has the face of the Caudillo del Sur, his initials, the legend "Tierra y Libertad" (Land and Liberty), and a winged heart. The description emphasizes the relevance and ideals of the revolutionary hero. This pistol is sold in the market for 2,999 dollars, around 60,000 pesos.
Chief of chiefs, also .38, bathed in 24-carat gold and inlaid with rubies and diamonds. Its design is with "Mexican heritage", with ornaments of pre-Hispanic figures and skulls, as well as the national coat of arms and the phrase "Chief of Chiefs". Its price is 3,999 dollars, about 80,000 pesos.
El grito is another of these models. Inspired by the struggle for Independence, it has images of the liberator Miguel Hidalgo, the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Angel of Independence, the Mexican flag, and an eagle devouring a snake over the word "Homeland". They are available in black or silver.
Another .38-caliber squad is called El Jefe, Colt brand, which has a market cost of 1,999 dollars, around 40,000 pesos. This gun has elements related to Mexican culture: the national coat of arms, a horse, the handle is marbled and white, and in gold letters, it reads "El Jefe".
Last August, the Mexican government, through the Mexican Foreign Ministry, filed a civil lawsuit in the Massachusetts District Court against 11 arms manufacturers. On Monday, November 22, the companies are expected to respond en bloc to the Mexican lawsuit. On the same day, the United Nations Security Council, which this month is presided over by Mexico, will discuss illicit arms trafficking.
In this context, in an interview with La Jornada, Pablo Monroy, deputy legal consultant to the Foreign Ministry, foresaw that the companies would like to evade their co-responsibility and point the finger exclusively at Mexico based on premises such as the corruption and impunity that persist in the country.
"We expect arguments that they have been saying for a long time: that they only produce, sell and distribute, but that it is not their responsibility that the weapons end up in criminal groups. That is what they have been saying to the victims who have sued them in the United States."
The SRE's legal advisor, Alejandro Celorio, disseminated information on social networks under the hashtag #NoMasTraficoDeArmas (#NoMoreArmsTrafficking), regarding the problem. In one of the messages, he stated that the manufacturing companies "know that their products reach criminal groups in Mexico through multiple sales, sales to frontmen and other commercial practices".