The English-language translated transcript of Spanish-language television news network Univision’s special report on Operation Fast and Furious shows that drug cartel leaders orchestrated a hit on innocent civilian teenagers using weapons they got from President Barack Obama’s administration.
The human impact appears to have been lost in translation in the first wave of English-language pieces after the explosive new report.
“At 11:30, I was in the living room watching TV and the warning was a gunshot, nothing more. One gunshot,” Luz Davila told Univision, according to an English language transcript.
Davila’s children — 18-year-old Jose Luis Davila and 20-year-old Marco Davila — were next door at a birthday party with about 60 of their friends. “They had bought sodas, chips — the neighbors were going to make oranges with chilies for them, cracklings, everything,” their mother told Univision.
After that gunshot, Luz Davila said she knew something horrible happened to her children.
“I stood because it came to me and I said, ‘Something happened,'” Luz Davila told the network.
What had happened was Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, or “El Diego,” the onetime leader of the Juarez Cartel’s La Linea, sent his team to the birthday party to kill what he thought were members of the rival Sinaloa Cartel.
La Linea is the “enforcement arm” of the Juarez Cartel. According to the El Paso Times, El Diego told Mexican authorities after his capture that La Linea’s mission was, among other things, to “eliminate the members of the Sinaloa cartel in Ciudad Juárez.”
“Regarding the party in Villas de Salvarcar, I was informed that there were some who belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel,” El Diego said in police interrogation videos. “I send the boys, and when they are there, they tell me that they have already located them, and so the order to start working is given.”
When El Diego gave the order, Univision said “seven vans blocked the streets so that nearly 20 hitmen from the Juarez Cartel could unleash the bloodshed with R15 rifles and 9mm pistols.”
“What no one in Mexico ever knew was that some of the weapons used in this massacre were part of a secret gun tracing operation ran by the ATF, according to this exclusive document obtained by Univision News,” Univision reported.
That document was a Mexican Army document that stated, according to Univision: “[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.
An onlooker who went solely by “Gloria” told Univision, “It looked like a war. A war where one only side was shooting.”
Luz Davila and her husband then “rushed down the street,” Univision said, to find out what happened. “Everything went dark,” Davila said. “I could only say that it wasn’t possible.”
“I went inside the house and the first thing I see is the older one, he was face down,” Luz Davila said. “And right ahead was the younger one. He was still alive.”
Both ended up dying. Univision said one of Luz’s sons died on scene and the other died 14 hours later at the hospital.
Luz described the gunshot wounds to one her of sons, saying, “He was hit in the chest, the abdomen, the arms, the legs, his parts … in the head, it came in through here this way and it came out of this way.”
Univision then cuts the screen to a barking dog roaming around in the house where the “massacre” occurred. Univision says the dog, “she-bear,” was the “only surviving witness who was in the house that night.”
“She [the dog] disappeared for nearly month, and the neighbors now take care of her in the same place where, she [a neighbor] says, she saw flowing rivers of blood,” a Univision reporter narrates.
Univision cameras then walk viewers down the street pointing out what happened to people in each house the night of the Fast and Furious massacre.
“Here, four people died,” a reporter said pointing to one house. “In the next house, three people died. The owner of this other house was also gunned down when he tried to warn his neighbors about the hitmen. The death toll: 16.”
Univision said the tragedy that night “spurred a wave of indignation across Mexico, and President [Felipe] Calderon, at the time in Japan, quickly made some statements about that night’s events.”
“This violence between criminal groups has extended itself to groups of youngster associated with gangs,” Calderon said.
Luz Del Carmen Sosa, a Mexican journalist covering the police, is then quoted saying that Calderon “said that the victims were gang members when he didn’t even have any real information about who they really were.”
Univision said the families “were outraged” Calderon would make such a statement. Luz Davila was so outraged she confronted Calderon at a public event: “I want you to say, that you retract yourself of what you said, that they were gang members. It’s a lie — neither of my sons were gang members.”
“I want justice for my kids and for the other students because they were 14 years old and up,” Davila said, screaming into her president’s face. “It was a party for an 18-year-old boy.”
“I bet that if your son had been killed, you would have looked everywhere for the killer,” she added.
Univision then said, “years after the massacre,” El Diego confirmed for Davila what she knew all along: her children were innocent.
“They were all minors,” El Diego told police about that night. “There was a big commotion, and well yes, the truth is, some, well they were innocent.”
When El Diego was taken into custody more than a year later in summer 2011, Univision said he was found with Fast and Furious weapons on his person.
Journalist Carmen Sosa then said she thinks “the United States government has many things that they ought to make public.”