As details of the US operation "Fast and Furious" unraveled in Washington, DC, this week, Mexican politicians and media assailed it for the criminal it ended up helping: Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka "El Chapo," leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Alejandro Poire Romero, technical secretary of the national security cabinet, spoke on the subject at a press conference at Los Pinos, Mexico City, La Jornada reported. Poire said that Mexican authorities were publicly aware of "Fast and Furious" as an operation of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to fight illegal arms trafficking in Mexico. Yet he added that Mexico was unaware that ATF authorized "Fast and Furious" to do so by allowing weapons to fall into the hands of criminal organizations in Mexican territory.
Had Mexican authorities known so, he said, they would have opposed such measures.
Meanwhile, La Cronica columnist Pepe Grillo had harsh words for "Fast and Furious," after learning that "El Chapo" ended up receiving around 2,500 weapons from the operation -- an amount sufficient to equip "an entire regiment," Grillo wrote.
"With these foreign arms," Grillo charged, "the assassins of the Sinaloa Cartel shot and killed civilians and Mexican soldiers."
Carlos Canino, head of the ATF office in Mexico City, had mentioned the link between "Fast and Furious" and "El Chapo."