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'Fast and Furious' guns linked to Mexico murders

A new report by Spanish-language network Univision has found links between murders in Mexico and guns involved in the government's "Fast and Furious" operation.

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A police helicopter flies over Ciudad Juarez on patrol, April 8, 2010. (Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images)

A new report by Spanish-language network Univision has found links between murders in Mexico and guns involved in the government's "Fast and Furious" operation.

Fifty-seven previously unidentified weapons, which have now been tied to the anti-gun-running operation, were allowed across the US border into Mexico so that ATF agents could trace them, reported ABC News. They were later found at the sites of murders, kidnappings and "two gruesome massacres."

With the help of the Mexican Freedom of Information Act, Univision reporters made the discovery by cross-referencing a list of “Fast and Furious” guns with a Mexican government list of about 60,000 guns recovered at crime scenes between 2009 and 2010.

According to Fox News, one of the massacres where the guns were used happened in January 2010 at a birthday party in Ciudad Juarez. Cartel members burst into a home and killed 16 people, including 14 teenagers. They were targeting rival gang members attending the party, but some of those killed were innocent bystanders. Family members of the victims have been demanding answers from the Mexican government.

More from GlobalPost: 7 circles of Juarez: killing with impunity

"They are waiting for an answer," said Gerardo Reyes, head of Univision's investigative unit, according to Fox. "They want to know what happened. And why they didn't stop these guns from leaving the US and ending up in these crimes?"

"They feel helpless," added Reyes. "They don't know what to do. We interviewed one of them and they said ... 'Who's going to pay for this?'"

A spokesman from the Justice Department told the Daily Mail that the agency is reviewing the Univision report, but that it “cannot confirm or deny anything that’s been reported.”

The Daily Mail also reported that drug boss José Antonio Acosta Hernandez, who masterminded the birthday party massacre, was sentenced to seven life terms in April for his role in the shooting, as well as in other murders and acts of violence that he ordered.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/mexico/121001/fast-and-furious-guns-linked-mexico-murders