Mexico: German gunmaker Heckler & Koch allegedly supplied guns to conflict regions in Mexico used by police to kill protestors

Heckler & Koch HK45C , credit CKindel

Reports state that German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch exported guns to Mexico, allegedly also to regions where it was not allowed to do so, breaching German export regulations. In December 2014, investigators found the company's weapons being used by the local police force to kill several protesters in September of the same year. The guns might also have been used against 43 students missing since September and thought to have been murdered.

In December 2014 Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Heckler & Koch to respond to the concerns raised in the reports below; the response is provided.

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Article
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Author: Dpa, La Jornada (México)

Ayoptzinapa_manifestacion_Credito_PetrohsW
“Desconoce Meade [Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores] uso de armas alemanas en caso Iguala”, 18 de enero de 2015

 …El secretario de Relaciones Exteriores…afirmó que no tiene "ninguna información" de que se hayan incautado fusiles alemanes en vinculación con la presunta matanza de 43 estudiantes en México, un tema que ha generado polémica en Alemania…En diciembre el diario alemán Tageszeitung publicó que autoridades mexicanas confiscaron 228 armas en el marco de las investigaciones por la desaparición de 43 estudiantes…y que 36 eran fusiles G36 de la marca Heckler & Koch, aunque dijo que no se sabía si habían sido usados. El fabricante alemán es investigado desde 2010 por la fiscalía de Stuttgart por presunto envío ilegal de armas a estados mexicanos con conflictos violentos, entre ellos Guerrero…

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Company response
2 January 2015

Heckler & Koch's response

Author: Heckler & Koch

(1) Heckler & Koch does not comment on speculations.

(2) Heckler & Koch ('HK') has repeatedly underlin‎ed that with regard to possibly illegal deliveries to Mexico, the labour contracts of responsible, former HK employees have been terminated without notice.

(3) HK has also repeatedly stated that it does not tolerate any illegal activities within the company -neither today nor in any case in the past.

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Article
12 December 2014

Heckler & Koch 'supplied guns to Iguala'

Author: Deutsche Welle

Heckler & Koch, Germany's biggest manufacturer of small arms, may have supplied some of the weapons used in the September killing of several students in Iguala, Mexico...Mexican investigators seized 36 rifles made by the German firm from local police...Six student-teachers were killed in Iguala in the state of Guerrero on September 26 when police fired at buses carrying more than a hundred people on their way to a demonstration. Later, a number of students were allegedly rounded up by police and handed over to the criminal gang Guerreros Unidos. Of those, 43 are still missing...The German government approved the sale of around 9,500 G36 rifles to Mexico in 2007, on condition that they would not be used in four states, including Guerrero, where security forces were considered particularly corrupt. In 2010, media reports showed the rifles were being used by security forces there, and alleged that H&K employees had helped trained officers to use them...

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Author: TAZ

Haben Polizisten im mexikanischen Bundesstaat Guerrero mit Waffen, die illegal aus Deutschland in die Region gelangten, auf Studenten geschossen? Eine Liste der Strafverfolger, die der taz vorliegt, bestätigt: Nach dem blutigen Angriff von Polizeibeamten und Mafia-Killern auf die jungen Männer in der Stadt Iguala beschlagnahmten die Ermittler 36 Gewehre der Rüstungsschmiede Heckler & Koch (H & K) – Waffen, die laut Exportgenehmigung nie nach Guerrero hätten gelangen dürfen. Bei der Attacke vom 26. September starben sechs Personen, nachdem Polizeibeamte und Mitglieder der Bande „Guerreros Unidos“ (Vereinigte Krieger) Busse gestoppt und mehrmals auf eine Menschenmenge geschossen hatten. Später übergaben die Polizisten 43 festgenommene Lehramtsanwärter den Kriminellen. Wahrscheinlich wurden alle hingerichtet...Schon im April 2010 hatte der Pazifist Jürgen Grässlin Anzeige gegen das Unternehmen gestellt, doch bis heute haben die Strafverfolger keine Anklage erhoben. Aussagen aus einem anderen Verfahren verweisen jedoch darauf, dass H & K-Mitarbeiter gezielt Exportpapiere gefälscht haben, um den widerrechtlichen Verbleib zu vertuschen...

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Author: Sinembargo

El diario alemán Tages Zeitung TAZ dio a conocer hoy en Berlín que al menos 36 armas decomisadas a la policía de Iguala, que presuntamente se usaron en el ataque del pasado 26 de septiembre contra normalistas (donde seis personas murieron, 17 fueron heridas y 43 desaparecidas) [...] [son] fusiles de asalto alemanes modelo G-36 producidos por la empresa Heckler & Koch. El diario tuvo acceso al expediente del caso Iguala iniciado por la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE). Allí se especifica que había además fusiles de asalto italianos Beretta tipo SCP (sic) 70/90 y fusiles AR-15 producidos por la empresa estadounidense Colt...La guerra es un gran negocio para los exportadores de armas. Alemania legalmente le vende armas a México. Sin embargo hay una muy clara y expresa prohibición de que los rifles de asalto sean usados en Guerrero, Chiapas, Chihuahua y Jalisco...

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