López Obrador Demands Answers on Obama’s ‘Fast and Furious’ Drug Cartel Gun-Running Operation
May 13, 2020 (EIRNS)—At the request of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard filed a formal diplomatic note on May 11 with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, requesting “all the information available regarding the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation.”
Under the auspices of “Fast and Furious,” as that diplomatic note reiterates, more than 2,000 high-caliber guns were smuggled into Mexico from the U.S. from 2009-2011 —that is, under the Obama Administration—with the acquiescence of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), on the pretext that they would be traced, and the arms trafficking to the drug cartels be shut down.
Scarcely a quarter of those weapons had been recovered by the end of 2011; others were found at sites of massacres in Mexico in subsequent years; and most are still unaccounted for today.
Mexicans and Americans were murdered by those weapons, but the arms traffic across the border has only increased, Ebrard’s note pointed out. The Mexican Prosecutor General’s Office requested information on the operation from the ATF in 2019, and again in February 2020, but the weapons-trafficking operation has yet to be sufficiently clarified.
Monday’s renewed request specifies: If the United States government carried out the gun-running scheme without the knowledge of the Mexican authorities of the time, it violated Mexico’s sovereignty. If, however, as stated by Obama’s then-Attorney General Eric Holder, the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderón knew about and participated in “Fast and Furious,” that would constitute “serious violations” of the Mexican Constitution. The Mexican government awaits the needed information.
It was President López Obrador who raised the unresolved scandal of weapons-trafficking under “Fast and Furious” in three press briefings on May 7, 8 and 11. He first raised it in response to questions about former President Calderón’s Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna, who currently sits in a U.S. jail awaiting trial on charges he took multimillion-dollar bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel as Calderón’s minister.
López Obrador announced that the diplomatic note would be sent to the United States government. “We want a report on this case, for the Department of Justice to inform us.”
“This is a grave matter, both because of the loss of human lives and of the flagrant violation of our sovereignty.... Never again may a foreign government intervene and violate our territory, violate our sovereignty. Armed personnel cannot enter, according to our Constitution; they cannot invade us,” the President said. “We have to look at this not merely as regards what happened.... This has to be aired so that never again can an action of this type be carried out.” Numerous observers have stated that this comment carries weight for today, as well.
“Let the United States government say whether there was cooperation or not [from the Calderón government]; and if there wasn’t cooperation ... it is time the United States government offered an apology. It was another President [i.e., Obama], but in the end, it was the government of the United States which has to explain this situation, as we would have to do if we had done something similar in the United States.”