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June 17th, 2011
11:50 PM ET

Video: ATF gun operation under scrutiny

(CNN) - The Mexican government’s fight against drug cartels has cost thousands of lives with guns smuggled in from the United States helping to fan the flames of this deadly fight.

In an effort to help track the flow of guns across the border, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (or “ATF” as it is commonly known) conceived of Operation Fast and Furious. The idea was to allow some guns to cross the southern border in the hope of seeing where those weapons ended up But once those guns arrived in Mexico there was no way of tracing them until they turned up at a crime scene. Sadly, one of those guns turned up near Rio Rico, AZ next to the body of Customs and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Now Congress is asking questions. Lawmakers want to know who allowed this operation to go forward. And answers have been in short supply.

Related: Deadly U.S. gun operation called 'felony stupid'

One thing that is known is that the Mexican government wasn’t informed of the operation.

Now at least 1800 guns have been allowed into Mexico and according to one ATF agent the bodies will be piling up until the last one is recovered.