Mexico charges 7 with ‘Fast and Furious’ weapons smuggling

MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in Mexico said on Sunday they charged seven people, including former senior officials, in the “Fast and the Furious” weapons-trafficking scandal.

The December 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry exposed the botched investigation of the “Fast and the Furious” investigation in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy guns to track weapons.

But the agency lost most of the guns, two of which were found at the death scene in Terry in southern Arizona. The U.S. government has been aggressively prosecuting men involved in the murders.

Mexico said Mexican drug gangs and former officials were also involved in or failed to stop arms trafficking.

Mexico’s attorney general’s office said on Sunday it had brought arms trafficking charges against seven people in the more than a decade-long case, including the country’s former top police officer Genaro Garcia Luna and former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in 2019 and is currently facing trial in the United States for allegedly protecting a drug gang. Mexico has asked for his extradition to face charges of illegal enrichment.

García Luna was security chief in President Felipe Calderón’s government from 2006-2012 and was the government’s leader in the fight against organized crime.

Also charged is former federal police commander Luis Cardenas Palomino, who is believed to be García Luna’s right-hand man. Mexico has arrested Cardenas Palomino on torture charges, and U.S. prosecutors have separately accused him of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel.

Mexico has also charged Guzman in an arms-trafficking case, but he is already serving a life sentence in Colorado.

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