This is a transcript of a UniVision News Report April 17, 2011 about the ATF Gunwalker scheme where ATF allowed nearly 2,000 weapons to “walk” into Mexico.
Two of the ATFC “walked” guns were found at the murder sitre of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Another ATF “walked” gun from Dallas was used to murder ICE Agent Jaime Zapata.
This is an interview with Zapata’s parents:
Exclusiva con los padres del agente Zapata
La operación secreta “Rápido y Furioso” en la cual agentes federales permitían el paso de armas a México que terminaron en las manos de los carteles de la droga ha ocasionado escándalo y repudio.
“Aquí y Ahora” obtuvo una entrevista exclusiva con los padres del agente de ICE, Jaime Zapata, quienes hablan por primera vez sobre la pérdida de su hijo y sobre el controversial programa federal.
Las autoridades hallaron dos armas de la operación “Rápido y Furioso” en el lugar donde asesinaron a su hijo.
Program: “Aquí y Ahora” (Here and Now)
Content: Exclusive interview with the parents of the murdered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent
Date: April 17, 2011
Jorge Ramos, Univision Host.
Mary Zapata, mother of ICE agent Jaime Zapata.
Amador Zapata, father of ICE agent Jaime Zapata.
John Dodson, ATF agent, whistleblower.
Rene Jaquez, ATF agent, whistleblower.
Juan Miguel Freyre, son of murder victim.
Carlos Spector, attorney for Juan Miguel Freyre.
William “Bill” Newell, ATF Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix.
President Barack Obama
Senator Charles “Chuck” Grassley
Mary Zapata: “I don’t want this to ever happen to another American.”
Amador Zapata: “No one.”
Mary Zapata: “Or Mexican.”
Jorge Ramos: “MARY AND AMADOR ZAPATA OF BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS STILL CAN’T GET OVER FROM THE LOSS OF THEIR SON, JAIME ZAPATA, THE U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFOCERMENT AGENT WHO WAS MURDERED ON THIS HIGHWAY IN SAN LUIS POTOSÍ IN MEXICO.”
Mary Zapata: “I never thought his life was in danger because I thought he was going to work at the embassy.”
Jorge Ramos: “ONE OF THE THREE WEAPONS USED IN THE MURDER OF AGENT ZAPATA IN MEXICO WAS SOLD ON OCTOBER 10, 2010 AT A DALLAS, TEXAS, STORE, THAT IS, AN AMERICAN AGENT WAS APPARENTLY KILLED WITH AMERICAN WEAPONS.”
Mary Zapata: “I want to know if we, the United States, are responsible for sending the guns.”
Jorge Ramos: “WHAT WE DON’T KNOW IS IF THAT WEAPON WENT INTO MEXICO UNDER THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION OR ANOTHER SIMILAR OPERATION. BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT MANY MEXICANS COULD HAVE DIED DUE TO THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION THAT ALLOWED, AND EVEN PROMOTED, THE ENTRY OF AMERICAN WEAPONS INTO MEXICAN TERRITORY.
John Dodson: “Once we watch the transfer and those guns head in an opposite direction, there is no way to find them, to recover them, to identify them until they turn up in a crime.”
Jorge Ramos: “LAST MARCH 13, AGENT JOHN DODSON OF THE ATF BUREAU PUBLICLY CONDEMNED THE OPERATION IN UNIVISION’S “AL PUNTO” PROGRAM. “FAST AND FURIOUS” IS PART OF PROGRAM, KEPT SECRET UNTIL RECENTLY, THAT SOUGHT TO IDENTIFY WEAPONS TAKEN ILLEGALLY INTO MEXICO FROM THE UNITED STATES, USING THE SERIAL NUMBER OF EACH WEAPON RECOVERED FROM THE SCENE OF A CRIME.
Rene Jaquez: “That has always been a rule for us in law enforcement: not to release a weapon, not to lose a weapon that could end up circulating among criminals.”
Jorge Ramos: “ATF AGENT RENE JAQUEZ IS ANOTHER AGENT WHO SAYS HE WARNED HIS SUPERIORS ABOUT THE RISKS OF THE OPERATION.”
Rene Jaquez: “Apparently, we have allowed more weapons to get in than we have stopped in our investigations.”
Jorge Ramos: “What are we talking about? We are talking precisely about the type of weapons that were allowed to go from the United States to Mexico under the “Fast and Furious” operation. A 9-mm handgun or this .38-caliber. After that, the most shocking ones are this AR-15, which although its parts may come from overseas, according to U.S. laws, they must be assembled in the United States, and finally, a better-known one, a AK-47 or Kalishnikov like this one.
UNIVISION OBTAINED AN EXCLUSIVE LIST THAT SHOWS ALL THE WEAPONS THAT WERE ALLOWED TO GO FROM THE UNITED STATES TO MEXICO. IT IS A COMPLETE INVENTORY, JUST FROM THE PHOENIX, ARIZONA OFFICE OF THE ATF, AND IT SPECIFIES THE MODEL AND SERIAL NUMBER OF 1,882 FIREARMS, INCLUDING RIFLES, GUNS AND SEMIAUTOMATIC WEAPONS.
BUT THE LIST CONTAINS MORE INFORMATION. IT ALSO INCLUDES INFORMATION ON BUYERS AND SELLERS, DATE OF PURCHASE AND THE DAY THE WEAPON WAS ENTERED INTO THE SO-CALLED “SUSPICIOUS GUNS DATABASE” OR “SGD.”
SOON AFTER THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION STARTED, THE WEAPONS STARTED TO FALL INTO THE HANDS OF CRIMINALS AND DRUG DEALERS IN MEXICO.
BUT MOST WEAPONS HAVE NOT BEEN LOCATED. OF THE 1,882 WEAPONS THAT WERE ALLOWED THROUGH, 1,315 ARE STILL MISSING.
ACCORDING TO ATF REPORTS, ONLY 372 OF THE WEAPONS FROM THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION HAVE BEEN RECOVERED IN THE U.S. AND IN MEXICO, 195.
BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH EACH OF THE WEAPONS FOUND IS OF GREAT CONCERN …
THE LIST TAKES ANOTHER DIMENSION WHEN WE INVESTIGATE WHAT HAPPENED IN EACH SPECIFIC CASE.
FOR EXAMPLE, SOME OF THE WEAPONS IN THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION FELL INTO THE HANDS OF THE GANG LED BY KINGPIN JULIO CÉSAR MAGAÑA HEREDIA, MEMBER OF ARELLANO FÉLIX’S CARTEL. AUTHORITIES CONFISCATED THE CACHE ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2010, IN TIJUANA, MEXICO.
ONE OTHER RIFLE WAS CONFISCATED ON FEB. 8, 2010, FROM TWO LEADERS OF THE SINALOA CARTEL. MANUEL GARCÍA SIMENTAL, ALIAS “EL CHIQUILÍN” AND RAYDEL LÓPEZ IRIARTE, ALIAS “EL MULETAS,” WERE ARRESTED IN LA PAZ, BAJA CALIFORNIA IN MEXICO AND FACE DRUG TRAFFICKING, KIDNAPPING AND MURDER CHARGES.
SO FAR, IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE HOW MANY MEXICANS HAVE BEEN KILLED WITH THESE WEAPONS THAT THE UNITED STATES ALLOWED TO FALL INTO HANDS OF MEXICAN CRIMINALS AND DRUG DEALERS…
AND ALSO IN THE UNITED STATES, ALREADY THE OPERATION HAS HAD NEGATIVE REPERCUSSIONS.
AGENT DODSON REVEALED THAT THERE WAS A LINK BETWEEN “FAST AND FURIOUS” AND THE MURDER OF BORDER PATROL AGENT BRIAN TERRY IN RÍO RICO, ARIZONA ON DEC. 14, 2010. THAT WAS CONFIRMED BY AN INTERNAL ATF MEMORANDUM, ACCORDING TO WHICH JAIME AVILA, A RESIDENT OF PHOENIX, ARIZONA, ON JAN. 16, 2010 BOUGHT TWO ASSAULT RIFLES RECOVERED FROM THE CRIME SCENE.
ANOTHER CASE: ON THE DAY OF THE KILLING OF ACTIVIST MARISELA ESCOBEDO IN THE CITY OF CHIHUAHUA, AUTHORITIES RECOVERED A HANDGUN AS PART OF THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION.
Juan Miguel Freyre: “I turn on the television and I hear the news that my mother was killed in front of the Government Palace’s offices.”
Jorge Ramos: “ESCOBEDO’S SON, JUAN MANUEL FREYRE, SAYS THAT AUTHORITIES HAVE KEPT HIS FAMILY IN THE DARK REGARDING HIS MOTHER’S MURDER.”
Juan Miguel Freyre: “They have not told us what kind of weapon was used and, as everybody knows, we can’t go to Mexico because as soon as we set foot on Mexican territory, a family member will be murdered.”
Jorge Ramos: “HIS LAWYER, CARLOS SPECTOR, HAS BEEN TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER THE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE, SINCE THE DAY BEFORE THE MURDER, ALSO IN CHIHUAHUA, POLICE OFFICER GERMÁN BOLADO PRADO WAS KILLED DURING A CLASH WITH HIT MEN.”
Carlos Spector: “In both cases, a 9-mm handgun was used…which raises questions about the origin of these weapons.”
Jorge Ramos: “THE ONE FOUND A FEW HOURS LATER WAS PART OF THE “‘FAST AND FURIOUS” WEAPONS.”
Jorge Ramos: “THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION ORIGINATED IN PHOENIX AND WAS LED BY ATF SPECIAL AGENT BILL NEWELL, WHO LAST SEPTEMBER TOLD THE PRESS THAT THERE WERE SEVEN SPECIALIZED GROUPS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY DEVOTED TO KEEPING TABS ON ARMS TRAFFICKING, BUT HE DID NOT REVEAL, THAT IN FACT, IT WAS THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” PROGRAM. AT THE SAME TIME, HE BRAGGED ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE OPERATIONS.
William “Gunwalker Bill” Newell: “More than 1,300 weapons secured, more than 71,000 cartridges secured.”
Jorge Ramos: “NEWELL HAS SO FAR DENIED THAT HIS AGENTS ALLOWED WEAPONS TO ENTER MEXICO ILLEGALLY. BUT SERIOUS QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED ABOUT HIS VERSION OF EVENTS.”
Rene Jaquez: “The fact is that I became concerned when I found out… that the agent in charge of the ATF office in Phoenix was allowing… this investigation to continue with the support of his supervisors in Washington.”
Jorge Ramos: “THE SCANDAL REGARDING THE PROGRAM HAS CREATED PROBLEMS FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER HAS ALREADY ASKED THE INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE. WITHIN DAYS, HE ORDERED AN IMMEDIATE STOP TO ANY UNDERCOVER OPERATION IN MEXICO. NOW THEY ARE TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO KNEW ABOUT THE OPERATION, WHO APPROVED IT AND WHEN…
I RECENTLY ASKED PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IF HE HAD AUTHORIZED THE OPERATION.”
Barack Obama: “Well, first of all I did not authorize it. Eric Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them into jail.”
Jorge Ramos: “And you were not even informed about it?”
Barack Obama: “Absolutely not, this is a pretty big government.”
Jorge Ramos: “TRYING TO FIND DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE ABOUT THE CONTROVERSIAL OPERATION HAS BECOME QUITE A CHALLENGE.
Charles Grassley: “We have 12 to 15 whistle blowers, not one has been public about it. They said there is going to be problems with it.”
Jorge Ramos: “IOWA SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY AND CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISSA OF CALIFORNIA HAVE REQUESTED DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION FROM THE ATF, AND THEIR REQUESTS HAVE BEEN DENIED.”
Charles Grassley: “I can’t say the President or the Attorney General is misleading us, but this goes a lot higher that anybody is willing to admit.”
Jorge Ramos: “AQUÍ Y AHORA” REQUESTED INTERVIEWS WITH ATF AND ATTORNEY GENERAL REPRESENTATIVES. IN BOTH CASES, OUR REQUESTS WERE DENIED.
WHAT MANY ARE WONDERING NOW IS WHERE ARE THE HUNDREDS OF WEAPONS AT THIS TIME. AMERICAN AUTHORITIES HAVE LOST TRACK OF THEM.
THE OTHER QUESTION IS HOW MANY MEXICANS AND HOW MANY AMERICANS HAVE BEEN KILLED WITH THESE WEAPONS THAT THE UNITED STATES ALLOWED TO ENTER MEXICO UNDER THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” OPERATION.
John Dodson: “You have 1,800 guns that you let go. Imagine if you only had one bullet for each gun, or you get one death for each gun, that is 1,800 people.”
Jorge Ramos: “IT IS A CONCERN SHARED BY THE PARENTS OF AGENT JAIME ZAPATA IN BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS.”
Amador Zapata: “It feels bad that they’d send weapons over for your own people to get killed…I don’t think it’s right and it hurts us. Yes, it hurts us very much.”
More on the ATF Gunwalker scandal…