Mexican Troops with older G3 riflesPhoto by: Yuri Cortez /AFP/Getty
This month Heckler & Koch employees will face legal proceedings in Germany for illegally selling firearms to Mexico.
Six former employees, including two former executives, are on trial in Stuttgart for the violation of Germany’s War Weapons Control Act and the Foreign Trade Act. It is alleged that the company sold approximately 4,500 G36 assault rifles to Mexico between 2006 and 2009 illegally.
The charges were initially filed eight years ago by anti-arms trade activist Jürgen Grässlin, of the RüstungInformationsBüro (Arms Information Office). It is reported that HK-made rifles were used during a number of police shootings including the shooting of students in Iguala, Guerrero.
In the run up to the legal proceedings Heckler & Koch issued this statement in response:
Despite this the defendants deny the allegations in court, arguing that the firearms were delivered to the Mexican authorities who then undertook the onward sale of the guns within Mexico. The ‘green countries’ initiative the press release mentions preclude the company from selling to some major emerging markets including not just Mexico but also Israel, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and the entirety of Africa.
When sales of the G36 to Mexico were subsequently halted, partially due to the Mexican government’s cost concerns, production of the indigenous FX-05 Xiuhcoatl began. The FX-05 owes its external appearance and some of its intrnal design to the G36.