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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 Forbesmagazine, 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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A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

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