LatinNews Daily - 05 February 2024

Caribbean nations address US arms trafficking

The Bahamas/Region: On 29 January Trinidad & Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington. According to State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, Rowley and Blinken reaffirmed the joint commitment of the US and Trinidad & Tobago to citizen security, “including through addressing illicit firearms trafficking”. Tackling illegal firearms trafficking from the US remains a priority issue for Trinidad & Tobago and other members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom). Speaking to national daily Trinidad Express on 24 January, Rowley welcomed a ruling issued by a US appeals court on 22 January to revive a lawsuit brought by the Mexican government against major US arms manufacturing companies, aiming to hold them legally responsible for gun violence in Mexico. “I feel satisfied that it was a good thing for Trinidad & Tobago to align itself with... the Mexican lawsuit because we face the same problem that Mexico is complaining about,” Rowley told the newspaper. The government of The Bahamas has similarly welcomed the ruling. On 23 January Bahamas Security Minister Wayne Munroe told the local press that it was “gratifying and encouraging” that the case would now move forward, stating that the administration of Prime Minister Philip Davis had been “vindicated” by the court’s decision. In March 2023, Davis announced that The Bahamas, along with Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda, and St Vincent & the Grenadines, had joined an ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) brief in support of Mexico’s legal battle against US arms manufacturers. More recently, on 17 January, Davis highlighted the importance of “reducing the flow of guns illegally entering The Bahamas from the United States” during a meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington.

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