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U.S. May Have Armed Mexican Drug Lords U.S. May Have Armed Mexican Drug Lords

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Homepage / Criminal Justice

U.S. May Have Armed Mexican Drug Lords

photo of Ben Terris
March 4, 2011

It appears the U.S. may be more willing to arm Mexican drug lords than U.S. agents based in Mexico. According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, federal prosecutors and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives allowed hundreds of guns to be purchased and retained by people expected to cross the border and use the weapons for criminal activity. The program, nicknamed “Fast and Furious,” aimed to monitor suspected gun runners in an attempt to collect evidence and build cases against Mexican drug lords.

The report comes out one day after President Obama held a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, in which Obama said the United States did not have legal grounds to arm agents in Mexico.

"There are laws in place in Mexico that say that our agents should not be armed," Obama said. "We do not carry out law enforcement activities inside of Mexico."

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