MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has canceled a hearing on a $10 billion lawsuit filed by Mexico seeking to hold U.S. gun manufacturers responsible for facilitating arms trafficking to drug cartels, Mexico’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry, which has been urging a U.S. appeals court to revive the case, said that the hearing, due to take place on Monday, had been canceled last Thursday.
“The judge assigned to the case, Cindy Jorgenson, issued an order canceling the hearing in which she only stated that she is considering excusing herself from hearing the present litigation,” the ministry said.
The judge and U.S. court officials were not immediately available for comment.
Seven in 10 crime guns recovered and traced in Mexico come from the United States, according to U.S. gun control agency ATF. This level nears 80% across the Caribbean, where many countries have backed the Mexican lawsuit.
The Mexican and U.S. governments have recently agreed to boost controls against arms trafficking through an electronic tracking program for weapons seized from criminal groups, but neither has offered details on the plan.
(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; writing by Sarah Morland; editing by Robert Birsel)