Monday, March 9, 2015

Eduardo Medina Mora: The #FastAndFurious Mexican Ambassador

Embajador Eduardo Medina Mora
Beginning in 2005, the DEA and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) began a strategy to fight Mexican drug cartels that sounds like taken out of a movie: Under operation"Gun Runner," they  used straw gun buyers to sell arms to cartel members to try to get to their leaders. The operation later became "Fast and Furious," and it expanded to arming criminals in exchange for their information.

Thousands of weapons were smuggled across the Southern border, and Mexican authorities knew about it, but some are flatly denying it. One of them is Eduardo Medina Mora, the current ambassador to the United States, and one of three candidates looking to fill a Supreme Court seat.

Operation Fast and Furious became public after border agent Brian Terry was killed in a canyon near Rico Rico, Arizona, apparently with an AK-47 sold to criminals thanks to operation "Fast and Furious."

After the operation became public, the Mexican public and lawmakers stayed largely quiet, but some at the top had known about it for a long time. In 2007, Ambassador Medina Mora was Mexico's Attorney General, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms talked to him about Fast and Furious, which was now being run from Phoenix. On November 4th of 2007, the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report stating the Medina Mora was aware of what was going on. This is also widely published in the media. You can read a complete timeline of the failed operation compiled by Univision, which I think is the best.

Medina Mora served as ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2009 to 2013, and is now the ambassador to the United States. The ambassador is also largely known for the imprisonment of Jacinta, Teresa and Alberta, three Indian women from Rural Queretaro who spent years in prison for the yet unproven kidnapping of six federal officers.

But Medina Mora has mainly been noticed for his inaction, even now as Ambassador. Even if he didn't about Fast and Furious by 2007, he certainly found out about it in January 2011, when twenty straw buyers were charged by the U.S. Attorney of the District of Arizona. Nothing was done. Many Mexicans died because of what the DEA and ATF agents did, but there was no outcry. Medina Mora should not be elected to the Supreme Court. If President Enrique Peña Nieto is really committed to improving his country, then he should withdraw his nomination.

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