Guns that were trafficked into Mexico under the auspices of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives controversial gunrunning program, Operation Fast and Furious, have found their way into the hands of an infamous Colombian drug cartel, the El Tiempo newspaper reported on Monday.
The guns were recovered after Colombian police arrested two leaders of the Oficina de Envigado cartel in Medellín, Ericson Vargas, alias “Sebastián,” and his brother, alias “Frank.”
“Two rifles that were seized in February with ‘Frank’, the brother of Sebastian also are part of the tracking operations of the ATF, the same with 14 Five-seven guns we have found in several raids,” an anonymous source within Colombia’s National Police told El Tiempo.
As Fox News Latino noted in its own report, it was the discovery of the Five-seveNs that prompted Colombian authorities to investigate the origins of the guns (Five-seveNs are know for their special armor piercing abilities, for more on this click here).
Colombian authorities contacted the ATF who then sent down a team to investigate. The ATF then checked the serial numbers of the seized weapons and discovered that several of them matched guns that were “walked” as part of Fast and Furious.
Now, every time police recover a firearm in Medellín, the ATF will investigate, the unidentified source told El Tiempo.
Five-SeveNs have also been found in capital city of Bogata and the coastal city of Barranquilla, leading authorities to investigate the origins of those firearms as well.
El Tiempo speculated that the firearms were part of a trade between Oficina de Envigado and Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, perhaps as collateral for shipments of coca. In short, guns for cocaine.
With over 2,000 guns trafficked as part of F&F, the majority of which were “lost,” i.e. allowed to fall right into the hands of known Mexican cartel operatives, it should come as no surprise that these guns are surfacing in places like Colombia, which is a major player in the drug trade (considered to be the number one supplier of cocaine).
At this point, there’s little doubt that the effects of this fatally flawed operation will be felt for years to come, all over the world.