Why didn't Trump declare Mexican drugs cartels terrorist organizations?
As President, Trump had the chance. He was ready to do it. Then he backed off. Why?
Here’s how the BBC framed Trump’s change of direction back in December of 2019:
Mr Trump had vowed to label the gangs as terrorists after the killing last month of nine American citizens from a Mormon community in Mexico.
But he has put the plans on hold on the request of his Mexican counterpart, [President] Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“I celebrate that he has taken our opinion into account,” the Mexican president said.
Mr Trump’s original announcement came after three women and six children of dual US-Mexican nationality were killed in an ambush in a remote area of northern Mexico.
The move [declaring the drug cartels terrorists] would have widened the scope for US legal and financial action against cartels but Mexico saw it as a violation of its sovereignty.
The US president has now put the plans on hold.
“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. “Statutorily we are ready to do so.”
But Mr Trump said his Mexican counterpart is “a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us,” adding that he was temporarily holding off on the designation and stepping up “joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!”
He did not comment on how long the delay would last.
—end of article excerpt—
The delay has lasted to this day.
Cartel murders continue. Cartels continue to use the open southern border to smuggle huge amounts of fentanyl, the most lethal street drug every produced, into America.