Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador reignited demands this week for either clarity or an apology over a botched United States gun-running operation dubbed "Fast and Furious."
López Obrador said there is "still time" for current leaders of the U.S. federal government to apologize for the 2009-2011 border-crossing scheme which intended to trace firearm sales to Mexican drug cartel bosses. But the operation backfired after several weapons sold by U.S. law enforcement were tied to murders throughout Mexico.
On Monday, López Obrador first brought up the U.S. gun-running sting while discussing potential corruption tied to the drug trafficking arrest of Genaro Garcia Luna, Mexico's security minister between 2006 and 2012.
"What seems serious to me is that a violation of our sovereignty was carried out, a secret operation, and that Mexicans were killed with these weapons," Lopez Obrador said during a press conference in Mexico City on Friday. "There is still time for the U.S. to apologize."
The Mexican president urged his predecessor, Felipe Calderón, to also explain Mexico's involvement in "Fast and Furious," particularly any corruption that may have occurred during his 2006-2012 tenure in office. On Twitter, Calderón replied on Thursday that his government played no part in the botched operation. An exchange between the two last week highlighted the country's rising number of homicides during López Obrador's administration. Since taking office, his focus has remained on fighting the poverty which leads to crime rather than the aggressive military crackdown on the drug cartels which was preferred by Calderon's government.
Mexico Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced he would follow up with a letter to the U.S. in their latest request for more detailed information about the decade-old operation inside their border. A former American ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, has previously suggested that both the U.S. and Mexican governments were aware of potential corruption tied to Garcia Luna, Mexico's ex-security minister. He was arrested in Texas by U.S. federal agents last December on drug trafficking and bribery charges.