A conservative estimate from this morning’s conference call with Darrell Issa, via our Townhall cousin Katie Pavlich.

In a conference call this morning with Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, reporters were told the Attorney General in Mexico has confirmed at least 200 murders south of the border happened as a result of Operation Fast and Furious. Eleven crimes in the United States have been linked to Operation Fast and Furious up to this point. Issa said he expects as the investigation in the operation continues, more crimes connected to Fast and Furious will come to light and be exposed. This is not surprising, considering out of 2500 weapons the Obama Justice Department allowed to “walk,” and that only 600 have been recovered, the rest are lost until they show up at violent crime scenes. The damage from Operation Fast and Furious has only started to be seen. Remember, the Mexican Government and ATF agents working in Mexico were left completely in the dark about the operation.

They’re discovering more every day, you know. But as I say, 200 is the conservative number. Some Mexican officials think it may go considerably higher than that.

Marisela Morales, Mexico’s attorney general and a longtime favorite of American law enforcement agents in Mexico, told The Times that she first learned about Fast and Furious from news reports. And to this day, she said, U.S. officials have not briefed her on the operation gone awry, nor have they apologized.

“At no time did we know or were we made aware that there might have been arms trafficking permitted,” Morales, Mexico’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, said in a recent interview. “In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans.”…

In March 2010, with a growing number of guns lost or showing up at crime scenes in Mexico, ATF officials convened an “emergency briefing” to figure out a way to shut down Fast and Furious. Instead, they decided to keep it going and continue to leave Mexico out of the loop…

Mexican Congressman Humberto Benitez Trevino, who heads the justice committee in the Chamber of Deputies, said the number of people killed or wounded by the weapons had probably doubled to 300 since March, when he said confidential information held by Mexican security authorities put the figure at 150. The higher number, he said, was his own estimate.

They kept the program a secret from Mexico initially because they feared corrupt government officials might spill the beans, but I can’t fathom why they’d continue to refuse to offer a full accounting to the Mexican AG. It makes an already hideously shady operation seem that much shadier. Is there no contrition at all for this? Three hundred people shot dead with guns that shouldn’t have been there and not so much as a briefing for the country’s top law enforcement officer? There must be some awfully important details they’re worried might come out.

Via CNS, here’s Issa on this morning’s call reiterating his point that there’s no good reason for Holder not to have known about this. Quote: “[I]f Eric Holder didn’t know, it’s because he didn’t want to know or because he wasn’t doing his job.” Click the image to listen.