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8 May, 2024 15:05

Trump wants to send ‘kill teams’ to Mexico – media

The presidential hopeful reportedly plans to covertly send US Special Forces across the border to assassinate narcos
Trump wants to send ‘kill teams’ to Mexico – media

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump would send US special forces to fight drug cartels in neighboring Mexico if he returns to the White House, Rolling Stone magazine reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

According to people who have reportedly discussed the matter with Trump, the former US president has privately endorsed the idea of covertly deploying — with or without the Mexican government’s consent — special-ops units that would be tasked with missions such as assassinating the leaders and top enforcers of Mexico’s powerful drug cartels.

The magazine claims that in conversations with close allies, Trump has insisted that the US military has “tougher killers than they do,” arguing that eliminating the heads of cartels would go a long way toward curbing their operations and striking fear into the hearts of “the kingpins.” 

One source recalled the ex-president saying during the discussions that the US government should have a “kill list of drug lords” that American special forces would be assigned to eliminate or capture in a potential second Trump administration.

Trump has not presented specific details in public about the purported plans, the magazine wrote. Previously, he floated different ideas for bombing or invading Mexico in response to the American fentanyl crisis.

A synthetic opioid far more powerful than heroin, fentanyl is responsible for the majority of drug deaths in the US. In 2023, the fentanyl overdose death rate topped 120,000 in a 12-month period for the first time, and it remains the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 45.

Fentanyl seizures at the US southern border more than tripled in 2023 when compared with the previous year, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The agency seized more than 77 million fentanyl pills and nearly 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder nationwide in the last calendar year, the highest figures ever recorded. The distribution of illegal opioids was attributed to local gangs and drug traffickers who maintain connections with the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels in Mexico.

Trump is far from the only GOP member to suggest sending the US military to fight drug cartels, an idea Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopes Obrador has staunchly opposed as a violation of Mexican sovereignty.

US law enforcement officials have on numerous occasions accused their Mexican counterparts of refusing to cooperate on efforts to target fentanyl labs inside their country.

At the same time, critics have blamed the rise in drug smuggling and human trafficking in the US on the administration of President Joe Biden. Illegal border crossings have surged since Biden took office in January 2021 and began dismantling Trump’s policies.