US Attorney General Eric Holder has been under pressure from Republicans over his handling of Operation Fast and Furious, a scheme in which US agents allowed illegal guns into Mexico with the aim of tracing them to major drugs and arms dealers.
The plan has proved disastrous with hundreds of guns missing and many turning up at crime scenes where US and Mexican anti-drug and gang agents have been killed.
Malcolm Beith, an expert on the Mexican drugs wars and author of the The Last Narco, describes the operation.
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