Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the U.S. may have to apologize if it’s confirmed that American agents carried out the botched “Fast and Furious” gun running sting in the country a decade ago without the knowledge of the Mexican government.
Lopez Obrador on Friday said he will ask the U.S. government if it had alerted Mexican officials that agents were carrying out the undercover operation where U.S. agents lost track of guns they had allowed to enter the Latin American nation with the goal of tracking Mexico’s brutal drug gangs.
“What seems serious to me is that a violation of our sovereignty was carried out, a secret operation, and that Mexicans were killed with these weapons,” Lopez Obrador said during his morning press conference in Mexico City. “There is still time for the U.S. to apologize.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he would send a letter to the U.S. asking for detailed information on the U.S. investigation over the operation, dubbed “Fast and Furious.”
The case is back in the public eye in Mexico after an exchange between Lopez Obrador and conservative former President Felipe Calderon, who launched Mexico’s military led crackdown on drug dealers during his term starting 2006.
Homicides have risen to fresh records during the Lopez Obrador administration. He has rejected his predecessor’s strategy, saying he wants to focus on fighting the poverty that creates the conditions for crime to flourish.
Calderon said on his Twitter account Thursday that he did not know about the U.S. gun operation.
“We have to shine light on this so that an action of this type will never be carried out again,” Lopez Obrador said, adding that Calderon’s comments may mean the operation was illegal because it may have been carried out without the knowledge of the Mexican president. Lopez Obrador added that the sting may have violated the nation’s sovereignty even if Mexico had been informed.
The polemic takes place after the arrest in the U.S. late last year of Calderon’s top security official on charges of drug trafficking. Former U.S. Ambassador Roberta Jacobson took to Twitter on Sunday to clarify she never saw any “corroborated” information that linked Calderon’s secretary of public security, Genero Garcia Luna, to drug trafficking after local media reports said so.
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