Mexico urges US to tackle gun violence on border

In this photo taken on May 27, 2022, police officers speak near a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. (PHOTO / AFP)

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday urged US decision-makers to adopt effective policies to stop gun violence on both sides of the US-Mexican border.

Speaking at his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador called in particular on Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to pursue gun control and slow arms trafficking across the border.

"That is a good initiative to prevent these unfortunate murders, these shootings that are constantly taking place" in the United States, Lopez Obrador told reporters at the National Palace in Mexico City.

"Why don't they get involved in that and stop accepting money from weapons manufacturers, from the war industry, for their campaigns?" he asked rhetorically, adding that was one of the factors "behind" the problem.

Some politicians in the United States "don't say a word" about lax arms sales as they receive money from weapons manufacturers to finance their re-election campaigns, he said.

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The Mexican government has filed lawsuits in the United States against manufacturers and distributors of weapons there, accusing them of negligent business practices that fuel gun violence in Mexico.

Mexican authorities have estimated that at least half a million firearms flow illegally from the United States to criminal groups in Mexico each year.

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Lopez Obrador said he is going to have a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday to address bilateral issues.