Guns and Gear
This still from a September 30, 2012 Univision broadcast shows a dead body on a street in the Mexican town of Villas De Salvarcar after a massacre allegedly committed by criminals using guns trafficked through Operation Fast And Furious. (Image: Univision) This still from a September 30, 2012 Univision broadcast shows a dead body on a street in the Mexican town of Villas De Salvarcar after a massacre allegedly committed by criminals using guns trafficked through Operation Fast And Furious. (Image: Univision)  

Univision report connects Operation Fast and Furious scandal to murders of Mexican teenagers

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

The Spanish language television news network Univision unleashed a bombshell investigative report on Operation Fast and Furious Sunday evening, finding that in January 2010 drug cartel hit men slaughtered students with weapons the United States government allowed to flow to them across the Mexican border.

“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,” according to a version of the Univision report in English, on the ABC News website.

“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.”

Citing a Mexican Army document it obtained and published, Univision reported that “[t]hree 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).”

That operation was Fast and Furious.

The “massacre,” as Univision described it, was not the only bombshell the network unveiled in its Sunday evening report.

“Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre,” the Univision report reads.

Watch:

The network also uncovered another Fast and Furious weapons “massacre.” On September 2, 2009, 18 young men were killed at  “El Aliviane, a rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez,” according to the report.

Univision found many of these victims through “access to the list of serial numbers for weapons used in Fast and Furious” and the “list of guns seized in Mexico,” according to English subtitles on the Spanish-language video.

“After cross-referencing them both lists, it became clear that a least a hundred of them were used in crimes of all kinds,” the subtitles read. “We found 57 weapons that were not mentioned in [the U.S.] Congress’ investigation.”

Though Univision tracked many more victims down, it said that “the death toll that this free flow of weapons authorized by ATF had in Mexico has not been tallied.”

Univision held nothing back in its broadcast, airing images and video of bloodied, dead bodies. The network showed the faces of the dead and walked viewers through how cartel operatives hunted their victims down with the weapons President Barack Obama’s administration allowed straw buyers to traffick to them.

One photo, for instance, showed pools of blood in the streets of a Mexican town after a “massacre” committed by murderers armed with Fast and Furious weapons. Video footage showed where some of the victims were killed and how the cartels chased their helpless victims to their deaths.

The Univision broadcast implicitly suggested that Americans have no regard for the victims of violence American policy helps fuel — that is, until one of those victims ends up being an American.

It wasn’t until U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder prompted whistle-blowers to come forward to Congress to publicly voice concerns about ]he program that the Obama administration stopped allowing firearms to flow into Mexico.

One victim’s father, Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, told Univision he thinks “Americans are not often moved by the pain of those outside [their country].”

“But they are moved by the pain of their own,” Sicilia added.

“Well, turn around and watch the massacres.”