Mexico’s foreign ministry is demanding information from the U.S. government on a controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation that let more than 1,700 weapons pass through straw buyers for suspected Mexican gun runners in hopes of making a bigger criminal case.
The Center for Public Integrity and CBS News reported last week that almost 800 of the weapons trafficked during the Phoenix-based operation code named “Fast and Furious” were used in subsequent criminal activity on both sides of the border and recovered.
Attorney General Eric Holder has launched an investigation into the program, which was approved at the highest levels of ATF headquarters, after the Center reported front-line agents strongly disagreed with the tactics. And ATF announced late last week it would initiate an outside review of the controversial strategy.
In addition to seeking information about the investigation, Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement late Sunday that it will be watching the U.S. investigation with “special interest,” signaling it may have been kept in the dark about the investigation.
“The aim of the governments of Mexico and the United States 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,” the foreign ministry said.
You can read the Mexican government’s full statement here.