Guns that were sold to suspected cartel middlemen under the U.S. government’s “Fast and Furious” anti-arms trafficking scheme ended up in the hands of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, according to a Congress report.
Further details were released Tuesday, ahead of a congressional hearing in Washington D.C., of how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation lost track of almost 2,000 weapons. The aim of the botched scheme was to sell firearms to people suspected of links to drug traffickers, in an attempt to trace gun-smuggling routes used by Mexican gangs.
According to sources cited in the report, some guns have ended up in the hands of Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo,” as well as the Familia Michoacana gang and the Tijuana Cartel.
Carlos Canino, the ATF’s acting attache in Mexico, reportedly told the Congress committee, “We armed the [Sinaloa] cartel. It is disgusting.” (See video extract from Canino’s testimony, below.)
So far, a total of 122 weapons from the program have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and more than half of all the weapons sold to suspected traffickers remain unaccounted for.