Reported in several blogs but not yet substantiated with any firm evidence is a report that one or more Border Patrol agents have been selling weapons to a Mexican drug cartel.
Wire / Dangerroom: Report: Mexican Cartel Bought Guns From U.S. Border Patrol (Nov 8 2012)
The testimony of a Mexican hitman turned government witness has revealed some astonishing details of life inside Mexico’s criminal underworld. Most astonishing of all: claims that cartel assassins obtained guns from the U.S. Border Patrol.
According to Mexican magazine Revista Contralinea, the testimony comes from a protected government witness and former hitman, who cooperated in the prosecution of a Sinaloa Cartel accountant by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. The testimony details a series of battles fought by a group of cartel members attempting to drive out rival gangsters from territory in Mexico’s desert west. To do it, the group sought weapons from the U.S., including at least 30 WASR-10 rifles — a variant of the AK-47 — allegedly acquired from Border Patrol agents.
The Javelins’ leader, Jose Vazquez or “Wild Boar” also seems to have been in charge of a pretty sophisticated operation. The group fielded escort teams for carrying weapons shipments and controlling drug trafficking routes, and teams of 12 for smuggling marijuana across the border. Cocaine was flown in from southern Mexico before being smuggled. They even had one command-and-control station for monitoring cameras placed along key highways.
Underneath Vazquez, according to the witness, was a deputy in Tucson in charge of smuggling weapons from the United States. Another deputy in Mexico was in charge of receiving the weapons. There was a deputy tasked with “cooptation of [Mexican] authorities” on the local, state and federal levels. Vazquez also had an accountant responsible for “organizing the logistics of fighting with other cartels,” paying for weapons including those allegedly obtained from the Border Patrol, and managing salaries. (The witness had a salary of $6,000 per month.)
We don’t know if the witness is telling the truth. And even if he or she is, we’re still not sure who the cartel had on the inside or who within the Border Patrol was selling guns.
The original article in Spanish:
Contralínea: Sicarios del Chapo dicen haber comprado armas a la Border Patrol (Nov 7 2012)