‘Shock & awe’ for Sinaloa? Trump to declare Mexican cartels ‘terrorists’, won't rule out DRONE STRIKES
Asked whether that designation means he would “start hitting them with drones and things like that,” the US president refused to elaborate:
I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated.
“I have been working on that for the last 90 days,” he said in an interview with conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly that aired on Tuesday. “You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”
President @realDonaldTrump tells me he is 90 days into the process of designating Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations - which would give US forces more leverage in taking them out. pic.twitter.com/ewSJMkt6rr— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) November 27, 2019
“Look, we’re losing 100,000 people a year to what’s happening and what’s coming through Mexico,” he said, referring to deaths linked to the drug trade. “[The cartels] have unlimited money, because it’s drug money, and human trafficking money.”
Outraged by the prospects of a US military intervention, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, told reporters on Monday: “We will never accept that, we are not ‘vendepatrias’ [nation sellers],” while the country’s foreign relations minister said it would be “unnecessary and inconvenient.”Also on rt.com ‘We do not want war’: Mexican authorities defend letting El Chapo’s son go after drug cartel unleashed hell on Culiacan (VIDEOS)
Trump’s rhetoric on drug traffickers sharpened earlier this month after cartel-linked gunmen killed a family of nine US citizens in a grisly ambush in northern Mexico, after which he said it was “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.” The Mexican government was hesitant to take up the offer, however.
Though engaged in a low-level military conflict with cartels for years in some areas of the country, Mexican officials have recently sought a more peaceful approach and negotiations. In October, the government was forced to release the son of Sinaloa cartel leader Joqauin 'El Chapo' Guzman and insisted it was the right move, arguing that previous strategies only “turned this country into a cemetery.”Also on rt.com No ‘foreign intervention’ needed: Mexico thanks Trump but rejects offer of ‘help’ with drug cartels after murder of US family
With Mexico’s reluctance to back Trump’s vision of an unrelenting war on cartels, many wondered whether Washington would launch the mission anyway, bringing a bit of “shock and awe” to the war on drugs.
War on Drugs morphs into the War on Terror because we've always been at war with Eastasia. https://t.co/dRet00906x— Stacy Herbert (@stacyherbert) November 26, 2019
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