Multi-million dollar agreement in context of Mexican debate on security
February 20, 2017
(Versión en español)
AFSC and other organizations have uncovered evidence of an agreement for an enormous purchase of firearms by the Mexican military (known by its Spanish acronym, SEDENA).
In March 2015, SEDENA made an agreement, valid for four years, with the U.S. company Sig Sauer to acquire up to $265 million in pistols, assault rifles, and other firearms. If the deal were just for pistols, the military would receive at least 400,000 of them.
Sergio Aguayo, a researcher with the Colegio de Mexico, states that “Mexico is a bread basket for those who like weapons” and warns that “One consequence is the epidemic of deaths and injuries, silenced and minimized by the governments of Mexico and the United States, and by the U.S. companies that supply war materiel to both sides in the conflict.”
“The purchase of these weapons will have no other objective than increasing terror and – under the pretext of ending organized crime – support Trump’s policies through a ‘social cleansing’ both of the migrants he will deport to us and of the Central Americans who will be stuck in Mexico,” explains Mexican writer and activist Javier Sicilia.
Donald Trump has stated that “one way or another” Mexico will pay the costs of building a wall on the border, and has suggested that Mexico pay tariffs on its products exported to the United States. Another way could be that Mexico pays for weapons from a company allied with Trump and his team, one that the president wants to reward for its financial and political support during the campaign.
Sig Sauer contributed at least $100,000 to the campaign of the U.S. president, and recently contracted an associate of Vice-President Mike Pence to lobby for increased gun exports.
“The agreement between Sig Sauer and SEDENA raises several critical questions,” states analyst John Lindsay-Poland of the U.S. Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee. “Where will all these weapons be used in Mexico, and by what police and military units? What end use controls are there in the agreement to prevent the weapons from getting to units that have documented ties to organized crime or human rights violations?”
Between 2007 and 2015, the Mexican army purchased and distributed a smaller number of Sig Sauer pistols to police, according to documents published by SEDENA, including in Mexican states such as Michoacán and Tamaulipas, where police are accused of collaborating with organized crime. Sig Sauer delivered weapons to the Mexican military with a value of no more than $10 million in 2015.
“It is urgent that the Congress, in particular the Senate’s Belisario Dominguez Institute, review the issue of weapons and the terms of the SEDENA-Sig Sauer contract, in order to impose some conditions and explore the possibility of cancelling it,” says Sergio Aguayo.
“The multi-million-dollar commitment to Sig Sauer would appear to lead to an even more serious destruction of people’s lives,” adds Javier Sicilia. “Mexico’s moral reserve has the duty to demand that the Mexican government rescind the agreement.” Finally, Sicilia proposes that, “If we force the government to cancel the rest of the deal and demand that this money be invested in what the country really needs – education, culture, a strengthened domestic productive economy – we will not only have recovered some of the dignity taken from us. We also will have struck a heavy blow to Donald Trump’s war policies and finances.”
John Lindsay-Poland, American Friends Service Committee-United States - +1 510 282 8983
Francisco Barrón, Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (CENCOS) +52 (55) 55 33 64 76 ext. 104
Sergio Aguayo, El Colegio de México
Javier Sicilia, Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity