Germany suspends H&K exports to Mexico

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

CB Online reports that the German government is investigating H&K for some undefined weapon export violations and is preventing the company from exporting weapons to Mexico until the investigation has been concluded.

BERLIN (AP) – Germany’s government has banned weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH from any new arms deliveries to Mexico amid concerns they are ending in parts of the country where Berlin has forbidden weapons exports over human rights issues, according to a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The letter from the Economy Ministry to the arms manufacturer, dated Jan. 4, says the company’s applications for exports of “weapons and other defense goods” to Mexico are suspended pending the outcome of judicial investigations in Germany.

Heckler & Koch is under investigation by prosecutors for allegedly providing its G36 assault rifle to Mexican police in the states of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco, where Germany prohibits such exports over alleged human rights violations.

Heckler & Koch maintains it did not deliver weapons to those four states, but only to the country’s Mexico City-based central weapons purchasing authority, which is overseen by the Defense Ministry.

“Heckler & Koch has at no point in time delivered to any Mexican states,” the company said in a statement late December.

It sounds to me that the German government suspects that H&K knew where their weapons were headed and were knowingly selling them to a straw buyer. I believe it is the Mexican Army who runs the Mexico City gun distribution center. It seems crazy that they are allowed to export to Mexico, to a central distributor, but that only certain state police can receive them, and others cannot.

[ Many thanks to Tip for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
2 of 15 comments
  • Yves Bonnet Yves Bonnet on Jan 15, 2011

    Mexican goverment and military are not friendly to Heckler und Koch, they just only have bad relations with FN Herstal.
    Mexico produce a licensed copy of G3, MP5 and MSG90; but G3 rifle wasn´t the first option for mexican military, Mexico bought a lot of FN FALs in late 60´s but they never dealed enough with FN to buy the license. Years later a group of cute, lovable and friendly people who come from Germany offered the license to buy a group of quality weapons.
    Many years later with the problem of "Narcowar" the polices forces from all country were allowed to bought full auto weapons (yep, few time ago was illegal for police have full auto weapons, ten years ago when i was a pretty child i remember that all Mexico city police used .38 Special revolvers and .30 m1 carbines) i´m not pretty sure about the date but was between 2007-2008.
    After this change, the policies from all country used a lot quantity of money to modernize their old stock, but they also need to buy their new weapons by the only legal form in Mexico, that´s way is buying the weapons directly to the Defense Ministry or requesting to the Ministry that buy the weapons to later be re sold to the polices forces and the real problem is that a lot of G36 are in the hands of police forces which states have a long record of human rights issues.
    H&K sold weapons to mexican defense ministry but the ministry re-sold the weapons to states with bad human rights records.

    Sorry for my bad english.

  • Jdun1911 Jdun1911 on Jan 16, 2011

    "H&K sold weapons to mexican defense ministry but the ministry re-sold the weapons to states with bad human rights records."

    If that is the case than I don't think HK should be blame for the actions of the Mexican Defense Ministry.