Society

Mexican Foreign Minister: U.S. Gun Makers "Financing Violent Video Games"

Mexico has filed a lawsuit against several U.S. video game firms. The legal action is an escalation of cross-border tension between the countries, as Mexico blames U.S. gun laws for fueling crime in the country.

Dark photo of a man sitting cross-legged, holding a video game controller

Do violent video games favor the trafficking and use of firearms?

Alidad Vassigh
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon has accused U.S. arms manufacturers of backing violent video games, which he said encourage crime and violence in the United States and Mexico.

He commented in Mexico City on Dec. 21 on the lawsuit Mexico has filed against several U.S. firms, stating that video games were effectively advertising for their products, the daily Heraldo de México reported.

Accusations from both sides of the border

Ebrard said that the weapons used in such games were uncannily similar to those confiscated in Mexico.

The suit, filed with a U.S. court on Aug. 4, claims that up to 90% of criminal weapons found in Mexico come from the United States and will seek some $10 billion in damages.Mexico has been grappling with violent crime for a little under two decades, though the severity of violence picked up after 2006, when the conservative government of the time declared war on the drug cartels.

Insecurity in Mexico has led to intermittent and mutual accusations on both sides of the border. The United States effectively treated Mexicans as criminals under its previous Republican president, and Mexican authorities blame U.S. gun laws for fueling crime in their country.

The Foreign Minister said Mexico's suit alleges that "the firms' manufacturing, distribution, advertising and sales practices favor the trafficking and use of firearms." Also cited in Forbes magazine, he said such games "even imitate the marble color and similar characteristics of arms" confiscated by police, and firms are "also financing video games, eh? To foment the expanding use of arms among youngsters."


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Mariam Nabattu, a religious studies teacher, must work at two schools in central Uganda to make ends meet.

Patricia Lindrio/GPJ Uganda
Edna Namara and Patricia Lindrio

KAMPALA — Allen Asimwe has dedicated more than two decades to teaching geography at a large public high school in southwestern Uganda. Her retirement age, as a public servant entitled to benefits, is just six years away.

She doubts she will wait that long.

“I am determined, I want to quit,” she says, calculating that she could earn more by shifting full time to the salon she opened six years ago to supplement her income. “Given the frustration, I cannot continue in class anymore.”

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