Documents: Mexican Cartels Used Fast and Furious Guns For Mass Killings

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: May 25, 2016 4:00 PM
Documents: Mexican Cartels Used Fast and Furious Guns For Mass Killings

New documents obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch prove, again, that guns sold through the Obama Justice Department's Fast and Furious Operation have been used by Mexican cartels for mass murder south of the border. 

"According to the new records, over the past three years, a total of 94 Fast and Furious firearms have been recovered in Mexico City and 12 Mexican states, with the majority being seized in Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.  Of the weapons recovered, 82 were rifles and 12 were pistols identified as having been part of the Fast and Furious program.  Reports suggest the Fast and Furious guns are tied to at least 69 killings," Judicial Watch reports. "The documents show 94 Fast and Furious firearms were seized, 20 were identified as being involved in 'violent recoveries.'  The 'violent recoveries' involved several mass killings."

The documents include locations, type of gun recovered and number of people killed: 

June 30, 2014 — One 7.62mm rifle recovered in Tlatlaya, Estado de Mexico.  This is the reported date and location of a shootout in which 22 people were killed.

May 22, 2015 — Two 7.62mm rifles recovered from the site of a massive shootout in Rancho el Sol, Michoacán, that left one Mexican Federal Police officer and 42 suspected cartel members dead.

August 7, 2015 — One 7.62mm rifle was among five firearms reported as recovered from an abandoned stolen vehicle in which three dead shooting victims were found in Parral, Chihuahua.

January 29, 2013 — One 7.62mm rifle seized in Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco is reportedly related to the assassination of the town police chief, Luis Lucio Astorga and his bodyguard.

January 11, 2016 — One .50 caliber rifle seized from the Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, where he was (re)arrested.

Keep in mind these stats only relate to 94 Fast and Furious guns, most of them being AK-47s and .50 caliber rifles, that have been recovered. The Department of Justice, with help from ATF, trafficked more than 2500 of them right into the hands of violent Mexican cartels members. Fast and Furious guns are only recoverable and traceable when they are left at crime scenes, which doesn't account for the number of times they were used in previous crimes.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder admitted during congressional testimony years ago that guns trafficked by the DOJ would be used to carry out violent crimes. In 2011, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told reporters, citing Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales, hundreds of Mexican citizens had been murdered as a result of the operation. Since then, a number of guns from the operation have been found at crime scenes in the U.S.

"These documents show President Obama's legacy includes one of gunrunning and violence in Fast and Furious," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.  "As the production of documents from the ATF continues, we expect to see even further confirmation of Obama's disgraced former Attorney General Eric Holder's prediction that Fast and Furious guns will be used in crimes for years to come."

Last month a federal judge struck down an executive privilege claim made by President Obama in June 2012 over thousands of Fast and Furious documents. Those documents show the lengths Holder and his closest aides at DOJ went to cover-up the Operation and the scandal that followed, which became public when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by Mexican bandits in December 2010. They were carrying guns from Operation Fast and Furious.