Mexican Officials Upset by US Secrecy on ATF’s Fast and Furious

By Danny Fenster

Patricia Gonzalez has worked for years with US officials on combatting and prosecuting drug violence. Last fall, Gonzalez, the Mexican state of Chihuahua’s top state prosecutor, watched helplessly as the media reported on her brother Mario’s kidnapping and torture at the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Mario was forced to record a video “confession” stating that his sister was on the take.

It would be “many months later,” reports the LA Times, until Gonzalez would find out, through media reports, that the cartels that kidnapped her brother possessed AK-47 assault rifles brought to Mexico via the botched ATF program Fast and Furious.

“Months after the deadly lapses in the program were revealed in the U.S. media,” says the LA Times report, “…top Mexican officials say American authorities have still not offered them a proper accounting of what went wrong.”

The Times calls Marisela Morales a “longtime favorite of American law enforcement agents in Mexico.” Morales is Mexico’s attorney general, and to this day, she told the Times, U.S. officials have not briefed her on the operation nor offered an apology.

Morales stated in unequivocal terms that Mexican authorities would never have permitted the program. “[The Fast and Furious program] is an attack on the safety of Mexicans,” said Morales.

US concealment of the program and it’s bloody toll–at least 150 killed or wounded, according to the Times–occurred while officials spoke about growing cross-border cooperation on law enforcement, and as Mexican president Felipe Calderon complained publicly about the flow of US guns into Mexico, says the Times.

“The basic ineptitude of these officials [who ordered the Fast and Furious operation] caused the death of my brother and surely thousands more victims,” said Gonzalez.

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