ATF Death Watch 138: A Day in the Life

Remember the ATF’s Fast and Furious scandal? You know: the revelation that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives supplied some 2000 U.S. gun store guns to Mexican drug thugs. That American-supplied criminals used (at least) two of these weapons to murder two U.S. law enforcement agents: U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata. Congress has focused its investigative efforts on who knew what when; demanding accountability for the fallout from the ATF’s Guns for Goons program. What’s not discussed: why. Why’d they do it?

Botched sting my ass. A law enforcement “sting” involves keeping track of the criminal transaction. The ATF did no such thing. ATF agents have testified that their bosses ordered them to stand down. To let the illegally purchased firearms “walk.” No trail of breadcrumbs. Nada.

This website has long maintained that Operation Fast and Furious was part and parcel of U.S. foreign policy towards Mexico. Yes, the feds wanted to flood Mexico with U.S. gun store guns to justify new gun control regulations, including a federal long gun reporting and registry program (still hung up in the courts). But the transfer of weaponry from our government to the bad guys was down to the fact that we’re playing sides in the epic battle between the Zetas and Sinaloa cartels.

There’s no getting around the bottom line: the ATF gave the narcoterrorists guns to use. Against each other. That was the both the plan and the realization of the plan. Agents Terry and Zapata and the hundreds of Mexican civilians tortured and killed by cartel members wielding U.S. gun store guns were collateral damage. Nothing more and nothing less.

This aspect of Fast and Furious hasn’t gained traction amongst Congressional investigators or the media. All the attention has been focused on “getting” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Yesterday, dailycaller.com reported six more Congressmen have signed a petition calling for Holder’s resignation. While the U.S. AG should be made to pay for his minions’ mistakes, there something more important going on . . .

Mexico is in the grips of a civil war. The two major cartels, the Mexican government and God knows who else (us) are waging a bloody battle to gain control the oil-rich, drug-fueled Mexican economy. In the run-up to the Mexican presidential elections, all hell has broken loose. Criminal and government forces are killing dozens of people every day, without any sign of an end to the slaughter.

Truth be told, Fast and Furious is the direct result of the American public’s apathy towards Mexico. We the People weren’t paying attention to the War for Drugs in Mexico so They the U.S. Government felt free to get jiggy with it. Remember that Fast and Furious is just ONE program of many funneling U.S. arms to “friends,” including official sales to the Mexican military (that “seep” to the cartels through defections and graft), a Honduran gun running op and allowing a grenade maker to walk.

And that’s what we know about. Meanwhile, the killing continues unabated. There’s more U.S. gun (and grenade) sales to Mexico and South America. More talk about Holder’s hide. And no debate about what the Hell we should do about the murderous maelstrom that’s headed our way. It’s enough to make a gun blogger focus his attention elsewhere.

Well, almost.

I’ll leave you with this: a day in the life of one town in modern Mexico as reported by borderlandbeat.com. The story’s two days old. Since then, more: a mass grave in Neuvo Leon, narcoterrorists taking over the entire town of Piedras Negras (a stone’s throw from Texas), etc. This is the real story of Fast and Furious: our government is doing nothing much to alleviate Mexico’s suffering and much to increase it.

“A total of 13 individuals were killed or found dead in ongoing drug and gang related violence in and around Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, including three armed suspects who were killed in an exchange of gunfire with a Mexican Army patrol in Mina municipality.

  • A Mexican Army detachment killed three armed suspects in a gun battle in Mina municipality in Monday.  The unit was on patrol near El Rancho de San Gabriel when the unit came under small arms fire.  Army return fire killed three.  Presumably the remainder of the armed group which attacked the patrol escaped.  Following the exchange of gunfire, soldiers seized seven rifles, 27 weapons magazines and 188 rounds of ammunition, communications and tactical gear, and four vehicles.
  • An army patrol discovered a mass grave containing at least four dead in an area seven kilometers east of Monterrey city Monday.  The unit was dispatched based on an anonymous complaint to a location near the village of Santa Ana in Juarez municipality, about 300 meters from the road to San Roque near an abandoned farmhouse.  The unit also detained an undisclosed number of individuals in the area.
  • Two unidentified men were shot to death in Monterrey Monday night.  The victims were shot near the intersection of calles Pascual Ortiz Rubio and Narciso Mendoza in Niño Artillero colony.  Reports say a group of armed suspects travelling aboard a sedan opened fire on the two victim as the victims were conversing on the street.  One victim died immediately while the other attempted to flee the attack, but was caught by gunfire only a few meters away.  AR-15 assault rifles were used in the attack.  The shooters left about 100 spent .223 caliber cartridge casings at the scene. The area was a known area for drug dealing.
  • An unidentified man was shot to death and immolated on Monterrey’s north side.  The victim was shot while in his Volkswagen Golf sedan near on Avenida Luis Donaldo Colosio near Industrias en Ciudad Solidaridad barrio by Pesquería bridge on the city limits with Escobedo.  A total of eight spent .223 cartridge casings were found at the scene just outside the vehicle.  The victim’s attackers then doused the vehicle with gasoline and set it afire before fleeing the scene.
  • One unidentified individual was shot to death and three others were abducted in Monterrey at around 1500 hrs Tuesday afternoon. The victims were all near the intersection of calles Jose Maria Bocanegra and Amado Nervo in the Industrial colony when an armed group fired on them, killing the victim.
  • A former Escobedo municipal police agent was shot and later died while receiving medical attention Tuesday morning in Escobedo.  Benito Fraustro Pruneda, 39, who had been employed as a bakery truck delivery driver was shot outside his residence near the intersection of calles Del Lirio and Raul Caballero in Monterreal colony.  The victim had just boarded his Ford ranger pickup truck for his morning commute when armed suspects travelling aboard a Chevrolet Impala fired on and killed him.  Fraustro Pruneda is survived by his wife and three adult children.
  • A manager of a trucking business was shot to death Tuesday afternoon in Allende.  Adolfo Tamez García, 38, was preparing to leave work for the day when armed suspects shot and killed him.  The shooting took place on kilometer 1 of the Allende-Cadereyta highway.  A rifle was found near the scene of the murder.
  • One of the three men who were shot and wounded in La Esperanza colony Sunday died of his wounds Tuesday.  Jaime Enrique Calderon Mendoza, 25, and a mason by trade, died at Monterrey’s University Hospital.  The other two victims, Luis Fernando Rivera Gaytan, 28, and José Hernandez Zamarrón, 36, apparently remain under medical care.
  • Two unidentified Apodaca municipal police agents were shot and wounded, and another two were injured in a car crash Monday night.  The police were in a three vehicle convoy rolling along the Mezquital-Santa Rosa highway when armed suspects travelling aboard four vehicles opened fire on the last vehicle, hitting two police agents.  Police in the other two vehicles attempted to come to the aid of he wounded officers, but one of the drivers crashed his vehicles into a trailer.  The shooters fled the scene aboard their vehicles towards Santo Domingo.”

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com