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A decade later Mexico hands down Operation Fast and Furious indictments

Written By | Jan 10, 2022
Fast and Furious, Mexico, Obama, Sinola Cartel, El Chapo

Former head of Mexico’s federal police, Genaro García Luna. José Cárdenas Informa screen capture.

WASHINGTON. When Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman stood trial in New York in 2019, US prosecutors entered evidence showing the drug lord spent millions bribing Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon (2006 to 2012) and members of his government. On Sunday, Mexican prosecutors announced seven citizens, including former government officials, will face weapons trafficking charges for participating in the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious. The infamous ATF operation saw thousands of weapons sold by the US Justice Department to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.

Weapons that brought about the deaths of hundreds of Mexican citizens. And the murder of US Border Agent Brian Terry.

Fast and Furious, Mexico, Obama, Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo

Slain US Border Agent Brian Terry. Fox News screen capture.

In Mexico’s Fast and Furious indictment, former Mexican federal police official and top organized crime-fighter Genaro García Luna. Luna has cooled his heels in a US federal prison like his former cartel paymaster since his apprehension in 2019. Mexico has asked the US to extradite Luna to face trial for his crimes to his home country. But the corrupt former Mexican official still faces trial dates here in the US for aiding the cartel in its importation of drugs into the US.

It’s unlikely the US government will ever hand Luna back to Mexico.

He knows far too much about the arrangements between the Obama/Biden administration and Sinaloa drug kingpin El Chapo. Arrangements came to light during the 2011 US trial of Sinaloa cartel member and El Chapo lieutenant Vincente Zamada-Niebla.

Fast and Furious, Mexico, Obama, Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo

Sinaloa cartel’s Jesus Vincente Zamada-Niebla. Cartel Narco TV screen capture.

Back then, his attorneys entered a court motion demanding their client’s immediate release because of the extraordinary agreement reached between the Sinaloa cartel and Obama’s Justice Department. An agreement that they said was contained in DOJ memoranda:

According to the motion…

“… weapons received by Sinaloa cartel members and its leaders in Operation Fast and Furious were provided under the agreement entered into between the United States government… and the Sinaloa Cartel… providing benefits, including immunity, to cartel leaders… who are willing to provide information against rival drug cartels.”

It was Zamada-Niebla’s who contented that Fast and Furious weapons were a bribe to entice El Chapo to rat on rival drug lords. Which would give President Obama a big win in the so-called “war on drugs.”  The agreement also included a get-out-of-jail-free card to the Sinaloa cartel’s top dogs.

But Assistant US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald argued that allowing lawyers for Zamada-Niebla access to said information would endanger “classified materials” that did not “support defendants’ claim that he was promised immunity or public authority for his actions.”

US District Court Judge Ruben Castillo took Fitzgerald at his word and denied the motion.

Six years later, President Donald Trump was never able to make good on his promise to border agent Brian Terry’s family and get to the bottom of Operation Fast and Furious. Instead, he was too busy dealing with the phony Russia-collusion controversy, of which Obama’s corrupt Justice Department played a key “investigative” role.

Corruption continues under President Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Just in passing:

In 2011, GOP Sen. Charles Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee) questioned Justice Department denials that a Fast and Furious weapon killed US Border Agent Brian Terry. Then-US Attorney Dennis Burke wrote to Grassley that charges were based on “categorical falsehoods.”

As the Associated Press reported in 2011,

“Initial drafts of the letter reflected the hard tone of Burke’s unequivocal assertions that the allegations Grassley was hearing from ATF agents were wrong. Later drafts were more measured, prompting Burke to complain in one email: ‘Every version gets weaker. We will be apologizing’ to Grassley’ by tomorrow afternoon.’ Regarding the allegation that ATF sanctioned the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser, the Justice Department denial was scaled back slightly from ‘categorically false’ to ‘false.’ ‘Why poke the tiger,’ Lisa Monaco, the top aide to the deputy attorney general, explained in an email to Ron Weich, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs whose signature was on the letter.” (Emphasis added).

Last January, US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Lisa Monaco, his Deputy Attorney General, responsible for reorganizing our anti-drug operations with Mexico.

As part of Assistant AG Monaco’s Mexican shake-up, Argentina’s LaPolíticaOnline reports,

“According to the National Palace [of Mexico], 40 agents, of the 50 [US DEA] members who are formally part of the anti-drug operations in the country, are leaving their positions. This is an abrupt, rare change, even for administration transitions in the United States… half of the outgoing officers are returning to serve in the US, and the other half will be relocated to other countries in the region. The movement anticipates a quantum shift in Joe Biden’s strategy for the Mexican drug drama.”

Fast and Furious, Mexico, Obama, Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo

President Barack Obama was briefed by Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, in 2014. Photo: The White House.

Deputy AG Lisa Monaco appears to be cleaning up loose ends concerning President Obama’s Operation Fast and Furious.

All this is ahead of a quantum shift in Congress – resulting from the coming midterm elections.

Perhaps it’s unlikely a future investigation by a Republican-controlled Congress will have any luck getting to the bottom of Operation Fast and Furious than it did a decade ago. Justice Department corruption runs too deep.

The Republican Congress, and Americans, must stop expecting the Justice Department to fess up to its crimes and seek clarification on its alliance with a murderous Mexican drug cartel from a different source. The horse’s mouth, you might say. From Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman himself. The man serving a life sentence in the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” – the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

That’s where you’ll find El Chapo patiently awaiting an engraved invitation from Republicans of the 117th Congress of these United States.

Fast and Furious, Mexico, Obama, Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo

Sinaloa drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in US custody. Photo: US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Read more from Steve Lopez

About the Author:

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area, and now resides in South Florida. Steven is a senior political staff writer for Communities Digital News and an incredibly talented artist, a cigar and bourbon aficionado.

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Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.