Report: ATF Kept Mexico Staff in Dark on Gun Op

Tuesday, 26 Jul 2011 12:27 PM

By Abigail Walls

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A new report on Operation Fast and Furious concludes Justice Department and ATF — fearing the program would be leaked to the Mexican government or U.S. ambassador to Mexico — kept their Mexico personnel uninformed for nearly three years, reports USA Today.
The report, prepared for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, finds that crucial information was not shared with Mexico personnel “about the operation that allowed hundreds of weapons to flow into Mexico.”
The Phoenix-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) program began in 2008, but ATF officials in Mexico did not learn the full extent of the program until January 2011.
The ATF’s acting chief in Mexico Carlos Canino and former ATF Mexico chief Darren Gil told congressional investigators they first noticed an influx of guns from the Phoenix-area  being recovered at Mexican crimes scenes in 2009.
Gil said he sought explanations from supervisors in Phoenix and Washington, but was only told the weapons were part of an on-going investigation.
"Never in my wildest dreams ever would I have thought that this (allowing guns into Mexico) was a technique," Canino said. "Never. Ever. It's just, it is inconceivable to me."
Gil and Canino are scheduled to testify about the program today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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