Thursday, December 27, 2012

AZMEX F&F EXTRA 27-12-12


Note: Most firearms now in use by Mexican government, and then often
to cartels are supplied by U.S. govt. from U.S. manufacturers
Let us not forget all the stolen firearms that end up in Mexico also.
ATF does have that info, will take congressional action or FOIA to
get it.

ATF: Most guns at Mexican crime scenes traced to US
¦By Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
Posted: 12/27/2012 12:00:00 AM MST

More than 68 percent of the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes
over a five-year period were traced to U.S. manufacturers or U.S.
dealers who import firearms, according to statistics of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Between 2007 and 2011, Mexican law enforcement submitted
99,691requests to the ATF for tracing, and 68,161 of those firearms
were determined to come from U.S. makers or were legally imported
into the United States by federally licensed firearms dealers.

The ATF said it was unable to determine the source of the rest of the
firearms because of missing information about the guns themselves,
where they came from and how they got into Mexico.
Mexican drug cartels have waged brutal
battles over turf in several areas of Mexico, including in Juárez,
where firearms were used in most of estimated 11,000 homicides that
police reported between 2007 and the end of November.
This is a breakdown of total firearms recovered in Mexico and traced
by ATF, and the number of weapons of unknown origin:
2011: 20,335, U.S.; 14,504, unknown.
2010: 8,338, U.S.; 6,404, unknown.
2009: 21,555, U.S.; 14,376, unknown.
2008: 32,111, U.S.; 21,035, unknown.
2007: 17,352, U.S.; 11,842, unknown.

The "ATF Mexico" report does not include information on which, or if
any, of the reported firearm recoveries were traced to the agency's
Operation Fast and Furious, in which federal agents
allowed guns purchased by straw buyers in the U.S. to be smuggled
into Mexico in an attempt to identify and arrest high-level arms
More than 1,000 of the 2,000 weapons connected to the Phoenix-based
operation are unaccounted for, according to U.S. lawmakers, who
investigated the botched ATF operation that began in late 2009.
The ATF shut down Fast and Furious after Border Patrol Agent Brian
Terry was fatally shot Dec. 14, 2010, in Arizona near the Mexican
border. A rifle connected to the ATF operation was found in the
vicinity of Terry's body.
Some of the weapons attributed to Operation Fast and Furious were
smuggled across the border through El Paso, and they were found by
Mexican law enforcement officers at crime scenes in Juárez and other
places in the state of Chihuahua.
Recently, new allegations threaten the ATF with another scandal,
prompting a U.S. senator to request an investigation.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, who had initiated an investigation into
Fast and Furious, said in a Dec. 19 letter to Department of Justice
Inspector General Michael Horowitz that a former ATF official
assigned to Phoenix might have purchased a gun that Mexican officials
allegedly found at the scene of a November shootout between drug
cartel operatives and Mexican soldiers in Sinaloa, Mexico.
Grassley's letter said the area of the shootout reported by Mexican
officials appears to coincide with a firefight that killed several
people in the same area.
"The gunfight claimed five lives, including a member of the Mexican
military and a Sinaloa beauty queen, Maria Susana Flores Gamez,"
Grassley's letter said. His letter also said that the weapon
allegedly obtained by the ATF official was purchased Jan. 7, 2010,
but Grassley had no information on how it ended up in Mexico.
"This information's implications and its ability to undermine public
confidence in the integrity of ATF operations cannot be overstated,"
Grassley's letter said. "Your (Horowitz's) office needs to work
swiftly. There must be a thorough, independent, and public
explanation of these circumstances as quickly as possible."
No one was available for comment late Wednesday at the ATF offices in
Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

The ATF also reported statistics for firearm recoveries and tracings
in the United States, including Texas.

Between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011, the ATF traced 15,058
firearm recoveries to Texas. The ATF said most of the tracings are
for weapons found by U.S. law enforcement officers at crime scenes in
Texas and in other states, but traced back to Texas sources.

The top three recovery cities in Texas were Houston, with 3,034
firearm recoveries; Dallas, with 2,463; and Corpus Christi, with 502.
ATF figures for El Paso recoveries were not available.

"We use the ATF's tracing resources to investigate gun ownership,
periodically, on a case-by-case basis," said Mike Baranyay, a
detective with the El Paso Police Department. "Our investigators can
also check whether a weapon is stolen through the NCIC (National
Crime Information Center) system."
The ATF's National Tracing Center conducted 319,000 firearms tracings
in 2011.
Tracing figures for 2012 will not be available until mid-2013 or later.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at;

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