Editor’s Note: This story contains a graphic photo from Univision’s Fast and Furious report.
On Sunday night, the Spanish-language Univision News aired a “bombshell” hour-long report on their investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, revealing brand new evidence of international weapons smuggling by the U.S. government.
In other words, Univision News took on the job that the mainstream media in the U.S. has failed to do thus far. They also displayed extremely disturbing images of the bloody carnage that occurred as a result of the misguided program.
Here are some things you didn’t know about Operation Fast and Furious and other gun-walking operations.
1. 57 Previously Unreported Guns From Fast and Furious Discovered
One of the most explosive revelations made in the Univision News special involves 57 previously unreported firearms from Fast and Furious that were reportedly used in a number of murders and kidnappings.
After cross-referencing the serial numbers of guns used in Fast and Furious against guns confiscated in Mexico, Univision found that about 100 guns were used in crimes and 57 of the guns were not included in an official congressional investigation.
2. Fast and Furious Guns Used in Two Grisly Massacres
ABC News reports, citing Mexican Army documents obtained exclusively by Univision News:
On January 30, 2010, a commando of at least 20 hit men parked themselves outside a birthday party of high school and college students in Villas de Salvarcar, Ciudad Juarez. Near midnight, the assassins, later identified as hired guns for the Mexican cartel La Linea, broke into a one-story house and opened fire on a gathering of nearly 60 teenagers. Outside, lookouts gunned down a screaming neighbor and several students who had managed to escape. Fourteen young men and women were killed, and 12 more were wounded before the hit men finally fled.
Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.
The other bloody attack linked to Fast and Furious guns occurred in September 2009 when members of a Mexican drug cartel murdered 18 young men at Salvarcar and El Aliviane, a rehab center in Ciudad Juarez, according to the report.
3. U.S. Gun-Walking Operations Conducted in Additional States, Expanded to Other Countries
The Univision News report also revealed that other ATF offices outside of Arizona initiated similar gunrunning programs.
An ATF field division in Florida reportedly launched “Operation Castaway,” which put weapons in the hands of criminals in Colombia, Honduras and Venezuela, according to Hugh Crumpler, the lead informant in the case, who talked to Univision News from a prison cell.
From ABC News:
“When the ATF stopped me, they told me the guns were going to cartels,” Hugh Crumpler, a Vietnam veteran turned arms trafficker, told Univision News. “The ATF knew before I knew and had been following me for a considerable length of time. They could not have followed me for two months like they said they did, and not know the guns were going somewhere, and not want for that to be happening.”
4. ‘Confirmed’: Jaime Zapata Was Killed With Weapons From U.S. Gun-Walking Operation
In Texas, even more weapons were allowed to cross into Mexico under ATF supervision, according to court documents and testimony of Magdalena Avila Villalobos, the sister of an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent who exchanged gunfire with cartel hit men alongside Jaime Zapata on a rural highway in Mexico in February 2011. Zapata was killed during the confrontation.
Villalobos told Univision News the guns that killed Zapata, and almost killed her brother, were “not from Arizona and Fast and Furious” but from a “very similar operation.”
“Those weapons that have been recovered, it’s been confirmed that they were weapons used in the shootout that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila,” she said.
Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) along with Issa have been pressing the DOJ to conduct a formal investigation into Avila’s and Zapata’s case. However, just as with Fast and Furious, they haven’t gotten far.
5. Mexico’s Cartel Violence Spiked in 2009 During Fast and Furious
Operation Fast and Furious was supposedly a program run solely by ATF that allowed nearly 2,000 guns to “walk” out of the United States and into the hands of high-ranking cartel members so they could be tracked and federal agencies could dismantle the drug trafficking organizations. But that’s not how it worked out. The agency ultimately lost track of the firearms, leaving Mexico’s powerful drug cartels even better equipped to kill.
Mexico experienced a spike in cartel violence in 2009 while Fast and Furious was in full swing, as the gangs fought for control of various territories, Univision News reports.
Fast and Furious became public after U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a gunfight with Mexican thugs in December of 2010. Congressional investigators, with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) leading the way, pushed for investigations and hearings, only to be stonewalled by Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department and the White House, who claim Republicans’ interest in Fast and Furious is only political theater.
President Barack Obama moved to shield Holder and the Justice Department by invoking executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been after for years.
Meanwhile, officials in Mexico are looking for answers because for them, Fast and Furious isn’t some metaphorical chess piece that they are manipulating for political gain. The fact of the matter is, they have lost hundreds of Mexican citizens as a result of the U.S.-run Fast and Furious — and they want the truth.
“Americans are not often moved by the pain of those outside [their country]…But they are moved by the pain of their own. Well, turn around and watch the massacres,” Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet who lost his son due to cartel violence, told Univision News.
So far, it appears that the Mexican television station Univision can get more answers about Fast and Furious than our own government can.
The majority of conservatives applauded Univision’s Fast and Furious report, but as Twitchy points out, others accused the channel of doing “Barack’s bidding” by putting all the blame on ATF and the Second Amendment. To see how people reacted to the report on Twitter, click here.