Mexico’s President is asking for an apology and an investigation into the U.S. government’s botched Fast and Furious operation that led to the smuggling of thousands of firearms–calling it a violation to national sovereignty.
During his Monday morning news conference and over recent days, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador discussed concerns that some previous Mexican officials were briefed on the failed Operation Fast and Furious.
“Anyway, the United States Government still has time to offer an apology because it was another President, but in the end, it is the United States Government that has to explain this situation.”
According to Lopez Obrador, over the weekend, documents surfaced that pointed to high-level officials knowing of the operation.
Known as Fast and Furious, the operation ran from 2009 to 2011, and allowed thousands of weapons to be sold to Mexican cartels in the U.S. with the knowledge they would be smuggled south. Authorities placed trackers in some of the weapons but thousands went missing and ended in the hands of some of Mexico’s most violent criminal organizations.
In response to those documents, former President Felipe Calderon took to social media to denounce the operation and claim that he and those in his cabinet learned of the operation just like the general public.
Es falso que el gobierno de México haya tenido un acuerdo con el gobierno de EUA para introducir armas al país. Durante la Administración 2006-2012, el gobierno mexicano exigió firmemente al gobierno de EUA detener el tráfico de armas que llegaban a los criminales. Abro hilo…
— Felipe Calderón (@FelipeCalderon) May 8, 2020
Lopez Obrador responded to Calderon by directing his foreign relations minister to send a diplomatic notice for information and learn if former Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora was aware of the operation. Lopez Obrador called Fast and Furious a violation of Mexican sovereignty.
“We are facing a very delicate case because it is being recognized that there was an illegal intrusion in violation of our sovereignty, by a foreign government, in the event that there was no cooperation.”
The operation was uncovered after two of the weapons from Fast and Furious were used by a cartel-connected drug rip crew in Arizona to kill U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Since then, several weapons from that operation have been found at crime scenes in Mexico.
One of the weapons from Fast and Furious was used by Los Zetas to kill U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata during a roadside ambush in the Mexican State of San Luis Potosi in February 2011. Los Zetas also shot and injured Victor Avila, a fellow agent with ICE.