SAN ANTONIO –In a year-long Fox San Antonio exclusive investigation, Mexican officials say the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is not working fast enough to help end the drug-related violence that is killing people on both sides of the border.
In just one month alone, more than 180 people were killed in Juarez, Mexico. All of the guns are believed to have come from the United States, specifically Texas.
Jorge Nava Lopez, the attorney general for the northern sector of the state of Chihuahua, says his office depends specifically on ATF.
After agents collect all of the information necessary, "hits" on the weapons can come back immediately or between three to eight days. This information includes how many days have passed since the weapons were purchased and where they were purchased. However, there is a huge difference in the investigative systems between Mexico and the United States, according to Lopez.
Investigating and arresting gun smugglers has left his office waiting up to a year or more for the suspects to be arrested in the U.S. He believes the Mexican system moves faster when it comes to arrested those who they presume are guilty so they don’t disappear from law enforcement. He says that when the suspects are free during the investigation, this gives them more time on the streets, moving more weapons that are subsequently killing more people.
According to ATF, about 70 percent of the weapons seized in Mexico and traced between 2009 and 2014 originated in the U.S. That’s […]