The foreign minister of Mexico announced on Monday that he sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. requesting answers related to a gun-running sting that caused tension during the Obama administration, according to a report.
In a video posted on Twitter, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard quoted Eric Holder, the former U.S. Attorney General, as saying Mexican authorities knew about the ill-fated 2009-2011 scheme known as “Fast and Furious.”
“The [Mexican] government requests that it be provided with all the information available regarding the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation,” Ebrard said, according to Reuters.
The sting allowed people to illegally buy arms in the United States and take them to Mexico, so the firearms could be tracked to drug cartel bosses and lead law enforcement there. It hoped to limit gun smuggling across the border.
A review of the program found that only 710 out of roughly 2,000 firearms were recovered as of February 2012, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In 2011, Holder had requested the OIG to conduct a review of operation “Fast and Furious.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said last week his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the operation, as his current regime digs for more information on the cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as possible corruption under previous administrations.
“How could this be? A government that invades in this way, that flagrantly violates sovereignty, international laws,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference, according to Reuters.
Holder was the U.S. Attorney General under Obama between 2009 and 2015. Ebrard said he previously issued a statement by way of the U.S. embassy in Mexico asserting that “Mexican authorities” knew about the program, the news organization reported.
In 2012, the Justice Department report had found “no evidence” that Holder was informed about the operation or learned about the tactics employed by the ATF, according to the USA Today.
Lopez Obrador first talked of the scheme last Monday when discussing Genaro Garcia Luna, the former Mexican security minister from 2006-2012, who was arrested in the U.S. last December on drug trafficking offenses, Reuters reported.
The Mexican president claimed the arrest of the Luna — who had also led an attack on drug gangs in the country — proved that corruption was prevalent in past Mexican governments.
The ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running scheme reportedly followed similar sting operations that began under George W. Bush, Obama’s predecessor, according to the news organization.
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