So far the government of Mexico has been fairly quiet on Project Gunrunner aka “Fast and Furious” aka Project Gunwalker. While the Mexicans have blamed American guns on a regular basis for their problems as they descend into a narco-terrorist state, they have not said much of anything on Project Gunwalker.
They have now.
First reported on a Mexican website yesterday and subsequently by CBS and the BBC, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) has made a formal request to the United States for the details of the “Fast and Furious” operation. The BBC says about the request:
In a statement, the Mexican foreign ministry said it would follow US Justice Department and ATF investigations into the operation with “special interest”.
“The aim of the governments of Mexico and the US is to stop the trafficking of arms on the basis of shared responsibility, and both sides are working to strengthen bilateral cooperation on this issue,” it said.
As has often been noted and CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson has reemphasized:
ATF sources tell CBS News that Mexican officials were intentionally kept in the dark for fear that they would jeopardize the controversial program. The strategy drew fierce criticism from federal agents ordered to employ it, including John Dodson. Dodson told CBS News that that letting guns “walk” endangered too many lives.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) posted a notice of their request on the SRE website in Spanish. If someone with better Spanish than me would like to translate it, I’ll be glad to post their translation. That said, even though I last took high school Spanish over 35 years ago I can make out the gist of it.
Posición ante reportes sobre la operación denominada “Fast and Furious” de la ATF
Sábado 05 de Marzo | Comunicado # 065 | México, D.F.
En relación con la información dada a conocer por diversos medios de comunicación estadounidenses y mexicanos sobre una operación denominada Fast and Furious conducida por la Oficina de control de Alcohol, Tabaco, Armas y Explosivos (ATF) del Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores manifiesta lo siguiente:
1. Se ha procedido a solicitar información detallada sobre este asunto a las autoridades estadounidenses.
2. El Gobierno de México seguirá con especial interés las investigaciones anunciadas tanto por ATF como por el Departamento de Justicia.
3. El objetivo de los gobiernos de México y de Estados Unidos es detener el tráfico de armas sobre la base del principio de responsabilidad compartida y ambos trabajan para fortalecer la cooperación bilateral en la materia. Dicha prioridad fue ratificada por los Presidentes de México y Estados Unidos el pasado 3 de marzo, en Washington.
Checking the State Department’s website, there is no word yet of any reaction to the Mexican Government’s request. That said, Mike Vanderboegh reports a rumor of a meeting today at the State Department to discuss the issue. I wonder if any undiplomatic language will be used at the rumored meeting.
UPDATE: The Washington Post is reporting this evening (March 8th) that legislators from all three major Mexican political parties are calling for a joint Mexican-US working group to investigate ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. Moreover,
Congressman Humberto Trevino estimated Tuesday that 150 shooting injuries or deaths have been linked to guns that were allowed to proceed into Mexico as part of a U.S. effort to build cases against traffickers.