Heckler & Koch, a German arms manufacturer, may have sold weapons to Mexico illegally, according to a report by the German Customs Investigation Bureau in Cologne (ZKA) between 2003 and 2011.
The company is said to have delivered more than 9,000 rifles to Mexico, and according to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, 4,767 of these rifles were delivered to Mexican states banned by German law because of widespread corruption, violence, and human rights concerns.
ZKA claims that Heckler & Koch “caused, promoted or at least authorised” the transfer of HK G36 assault rifles without official authorisation to the Mexican states of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco.
While it is unclear whether the G36 rifles were used in the massacre of 43 students in Iguala, a municipality in Guerrero in September, 36 G36 rifles were seized from corrupt members of the police force in Iguala.
In Iguala, it is reported that police officers shot at student protesters’ buses, killing six people and wounding dozens. The police then arrested 43 students, and turned them over to a cartel who executed them.
During the state and federal investigation that followed, the G36 rifles surfaced. However they were not the only 5.56mm caliber rifles in police possession, so they may or may not have been involved in the massacre.
The 82-page ZKA report accuses five former employees of Heckler & Koch of breaking German law, specifically The War Weapons Control Act which prohibits the sale of weapons to four Mexican states.
The five Heckler & Koch employees may be facing a lawsuit in the near future.