MEXICO CITY, March 11 (UPI) -- A Mexican lawmaker claims at least 150 countrymen were killed or wounded by guns purchased through an undercover U.S. drug and weapons operation.
Humberto Benitez Trevino, a member of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies, said the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program called Operation Fast and Furious was responsible and he has called for an investigation, The Los Angeles Times reported.
"We have 150 cases of injuries and homicides with arms that were smuggled and passed illegally into our country," Benitez said. "This was an undercover program that wasn't properly controlled."
The ATF acknowledged at least 195 weapons sold in Arizona under the program were recovered in Mexico.
Mexican lawmakers want to know if Mexican authorities were aware of the U.S. operation.
"This is a serious violation of international law," said Carlos Ramirez Marin, president of the Chamber of Deputies. "What happens if next time they need to introduce trained assassins or nuclear weapons?"
U.S. officials said they lost track of hundreds of weapons because of manpower shortages. The weapons included handguns, fully automatic rifles and a .50-caliber sniper weapon.
U.S. Attorney Gen. Erich H. Holder Jr. said he is deeply concerned about the program and the concern of the Mexican government. He said he has asked the inspector general to "get to the bottom of it."
"I've also made clear to people in the department that letting guns walk … is not something that is acceptable," Holder said.
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