I urge you to end U.S. weapon sales to Mexico until reliable and effective end use controls are established and the U.S. can confidently certify these weapons will not be used to commit gross abuses of human rights or in collusion with organized crime.
On January 22, sixteen Guatemalan migrants and three Mexicans were massacred in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, just miles from the Texas border. The young Guatemalans - the youngest was 15 - had left their homes in a poor indigenous Mam community in Guatemala ten days earlier.
Mexican authorities have arrested 12 state police officers from a Special Operations Group (GOPES) for carrying out the massacre. GOPES officers are armed with U.S.-exported assault rifles produced by Sig Sauer, Inc.
The “Camargo massacre” is only the most recent tragedy in a growing number of murders and intimidation of civilians in Mexico and across the region, many committed by local and state police illegally using arms exported from the USA.
The violence must end.
A first step is to ensure that all end user certificates for firearms exports correctly identify who are the ultimate buyers of U.S. weapons. Currently, these certificates falsely identify the end user as the Mexican army, even when the actual recipients are state and local police.
It is in the interest of both the United States, Mexico, and our Central American neighbors that we suspend such exports. Peace in the US-Mexico-Central America region will not be achieved if we fail to curb armed violence.
Cc: Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Secretary of Commerce
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