Saturday, June 18, 2011

ATF Death Watch 14: Mexican Lawyer’s Killers Used ATF-Enabled Guns

“Two guns sold to a Mexican cartel and used in the high-profile kidnapping and murder of a Mexican lawyer last year were purchased under the U.S. Justice Department’s failed anti-gun trafficking program Operation Fast and Furious,” Fox News reports. “[Mario Gonzalez Rodriquez], brother of the now former attorney general of Chihuahua, Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez, was kidnapped in October. He was taken by six gunmen from the Sinaloa cartel and tortured extensively over two weeks. Three videos posted online show Gonzalez surrounded by hooded armed men with his hands and feet bound and apparently being electrocuted with electrical devises attached to his feet . . .

The incident received heavy publicity in Mexico – not just because he was a family member of a top law enforcement officer, but because he claims in the video that his sister, while attorney general, protected the Juarez cartel, and that she ordered the murder of two journalists and a member of the Mormon community in that state.

His sister went on national TV and denied the claims and said the kidnappers belonged to the rival Sinoloa cartel.

Gonzalez’s body was found last November in a shallow grave outside the city after armed federal police forces raided the kidnappers’ compound. Mexican officials arrested the suspects and confiscated the guns.

And now we know that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed two of the weapons—AK-47s—to walk from the U.S. to Mexico.

This new revelation is sure to increase the pressure on the ATF and the Department of Justice to reveal who knew what about anti-gun running gun running program when. Equally, we can expect the Mexican government to get their proverbial knickers in a twist. Which could really open a can of worms . . .

Throughout the Congressional inquiry into Gunwalker, analysts and investigators alike seem to have taken the assertion that the Mexican government knew nothing about the ATF’s screw-up at face value. We may soon learn that this was not the case—which would account for Calderon’s initial silence on the subject.

What’s more, Representative Issa may start to prod the real scandal: America’s tacit support of Mexican drug cartels through their support of President Calderon’s profoundly corrupt government. Truth be told, U.S. military and law enforcement weapon sales have armed the cartels. And the administration knows it.

Consider this: H&K stopped selling automatic rifles to the Mexican law enforcement officials last year, when it became abundantly clear that the guns were “seeping” to the bad guys. Do you really think the U.S. government didn’t have the same information about “legal” American weapon sales?

How—or if—these sales tie in with the ATF’s effort I don’t know. But I’d like to find out. I think.

The Truth About Guns

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