By Patrick Osio
John A. Torres, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Alcohol program of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) Los Angeles headquarters, has niftily switched the failures of his office in stopping the flow of gun smuggling into Mexico that are used by drug cartels. Torres went well beyond his scope of authority inaccurately dramatizing the supposed danger college students’ face traveling to their historical spring break haunts in Rosarito Beach and Ensenada, Baja California.
Agent Torres’ warning to avoid travel to those places comes just at the right time for him to deflect the utter failure for several years now of the various ATF’s offices, his included. By drawing attention to the unproven and in fact untrue, concerns for the safety of students in Baja, the spotlight that has just recently began to shine on ATF’s record in their either feeble or incompetent work to prevent the massive numbers of arms and ammunition flowing into Mexico from the US used by drug cartels in their quest to defeat Mexican authorities and intimidate the general population.
It is not coincidental that the timing of Torres’ comments, which comments are not within the realm of his office, follows Mexico’s President Calderon making public his concern that the US must do more to stop the flow of smuggled arms into Mexico. His remarks are most obviously a payback for shinning the light on AFT's failures.
Agent Torres is aware that Americans, who are not involved in illicit drug buying, distributing or smuggling, are not and have not been the targets and have not and are not in danger while visiting any part of Mexico, including Rosarito Beach, Ensenada and yes, even Tijuana. His pretended ignorance on the subject should be replaced by his putting his nose to the grindstone and do his work through the AFT’s Project Gunrunner initiative and reverse the dismal record in stopping gun running.
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