In an interview with Bill O’Reilly released yesterday, the host asked “The Mexican drug cartels kill more than 100,000 Americans every year by the importation of dangerous narcotics. Are you going to designate those cartels in Mexico as terror groups?”
“They will be designated … I have offered him (the Mexican president) to let us go in and clean it out,” President Trump responded. “He, so far, has rejected the offer. But at some point, something has to be done.”
Trump continued, “I’ve been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”
The news comes on the heels of a brutal cartel attack in which nine Americans–six children and three women–were ambushed and slaughtered in broad daylight by cartel members in Mexico’s Sonora state earlier this month.
In response, President Trump declared it was time to wage war on the cartels.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” Trump tweeted. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
Just last week, Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) told the Daily Caller he wished to renew his push for the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act, which would classify cartels as terrorist organizations and grant the U.S. additional tools to fight crime at the Mexico border.
“Right now, there is literally a state of war going on in Mexico along our border where American citizens are getting killed, where Mexican law enforcement are getting killed, we have Mexican politicians getting targeted and killed,” said Roy.
“…we should target cartels, and we should declare them to be the foreign terrorist organizations that they are. They are operating every bit as much like the foreign terrorist organizations that we currently deal with,” Roy continued. “In designating them as such, it would give us enhanced tools to make sure that if someone is providing material support, they could be targeted — by going after dollar flows and banking, and by stopping immigration and movement generally around the world.”
According to Reuters, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has already responded to President Trump’s proposal to designate the cartels as terror organizations. He rejected Trump’s “interventionism” and said at a news conference today, “Cooperation, yes, intervention, no.”