(RightWing.org) – Mexico is pushing for information on an Obama-era scandal that resulted in multiple deaths in both the US and Mexico. A bungled sting operation aimed at Mexican cartel leaders instead ended up with thousands of guns being smuggled into Mexico and in the hands of violent criminals. President Obama tried to bury the details to protect his officials. Now Mexico wants answers.
Between 2006 and 2011, Arizona officials allowed straw purchasers to buy around 2,000 guns from licensed firearms dealers and smuggle them across the border into Mexico.
- In 2009, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice decided to expand on earlier sting operations in an attempt to wipe out arms trafficking networks and the notoriously violent Mexican drug cartels.
- Where previous ATF stings had focused on arresting buyers who were acquiring guns to ship to Mexico, the new idea was to “let guns walk” to the cartels, then arrest senior cartel members. More than 25 straw buyers were identified and allowed to traffic at least 2,000 guns — including semiautomatic rifles and FN Five-SeveN armor-piercing handguns — to the drug gangs.
- Weapons trafficked between 2009 and 2011 were used to kill at least 150 Mexican citizens (and possibly several times that number), as well as at least one US Border Patrol agent.
- When the scandal broke in the US, Attorney General Eric Holder made history as the first sitting US cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress. Holder asked Obama to invoke executive privilege to withhold documents related to the scandal.
- Now, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he plans to send a diplomatic note to Washington to request more information on the botched operation.
- Mexico wants to know if US officials and agents involved in the operation were linked to former Mexican security minister Genaro García Luna, who was arrested in Dallas last December on charges of taking bribes from a leading drug cartel. Luna, whose career began in Mexico’s counterintelligence agency, had been trained by US agencies in the past.
President López Obrador says the operation was a violation of Mexican sovereignty, and it’s hard to say he’s wrong. Smuggling always exists, but in this case, US officials knowingly allowed weapons they knew were illegal in Mexico be taken there. Then, when people started dying, a Democrat administration tried to cover it up. If Mexico wants answers, the US should provide them — even if that does embarrass Obama and his supporters.
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