Blaming America for Mexico’s problems has been something of a national pastime for Mexican politicians for many years. True to tradition, Mexican president Felipe Calderon has been blaming Mexico’s astronomically high murder rate on Americans who buy drugs and who sell guns, rather than on the Mexican drug cartels who commit a vastly disproportionate share of those murders, and the historic corruption in Mexico, from which the wicked cartels have spawned.
However, an article published by the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada suggests that el Presidente might better serve the good people of his country by looking to his southern border, instead of al norte.
As explained in English by the Latin American Herald Tribune, “The most fearsome weapons wielded by Mexico’s drug cartels enter the country from Central America, not the United States, according to U.S. diplomatic cables disseminated by WikiLeaks and published on Tuesday by La Jornada newspaper. Items such as grenades and rocket-launchers are stolen from Central American armies and smuggled into Mexico via neighboring Guatemala, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reported to Washington.”
The article also refers to “Fast and Furious,” an element of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' “Project GunRunner” operation that allegedly knowingly allowed more than 1,700 firearms to be smuggled into Mexico from our country, including those that may have been used to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata in February.
Increasingly, the question is who knew about the operation, and when. President Obama has stated that neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder were aware of the scheme. Holder is said to have told his subordinates that letting guns “walk” to Mexico is wrong and should not be repeated. The McAllen, Tex., newspaper, The Monitor, quotes the Mexican government as saying that it “did not have knowledge on an operation that included the controlled traffic of weapons in Mexican territory,” and that “The Mexican government has not and will not give any implied or formal authorization for this to happen.”
Meanwhile, Fox News reports that U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today issued a subpoena to the Justice Department demanding that the BATFE respond to his March 16 request for information about the operation, the deadline for which passed on Wednesday. Rep. Issa is quoted as saying, “The unwillingness of this administration—most specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms—to answer questions about this deadly serious matter is deeply troubling.”
CBS News similarly reported that “The Department of Justice and ATF have missed repeated deadlines to turn over information and documents” to Congress, and further noted that the investigation of Project GunRunner may significantly delay hearings on President Obama’s nomination of BATFE agent Andrew Traver, an activist gun control supporter, to head the BATFE.
The BATFE has until April 13 to respond to Rep. Issa’s subpoena. Stay tuned.