Two congressmen filed a bill in the House to direct the U.S. State Department to designate specific Mexican cartel factions as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). The bill follows a letter from lawmakers to Secretary Mike Pompeo calling for the designations. President Donald Trump said he is considering the matter in an Oval Office interview on Monday.
“Cartels are the problem and it is time we started acting like it,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said in a written statement. “My colleague Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) and I are asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to conduct a review in order to designate these specific Mexican drug cartels Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).”
The bill from the Republican representatives calls for the designation of the following cartel factions as FTOs:
- The Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel
- The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)
- The Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas
Roy said that he and Rep. Green chose these specific factions “because of their particularly violent actions and intentional strategies to affect the political system. These cartels push for an anarchic form of government which allows them to skirt laws and push their terrorist model without any legal ramifications.”
Rep. Green added, “Americans know that it is time to get tough and secure our southern border through physical barriers and better enforcement. The president is using the money Congress sent him to begin building a wall, and now we must follow up with this new designation that will empower our law enforcement agents to fight the cartels.”
During an Oval Office interview with Breitbart News, President Trump responded to a question regarding the designation of these cartels as FTOs. He said his administration is thinking “very seriously” about making the designation.
“We are. We are,” Trump responded. “We’re thinking about doing it very seriously. In fact, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time.”
“It’s psychological, but it’s also economic,” he said. “As terrorists — as terrorist organizations, the answer is yes. They are.”
“Mexico, unfortunately, has lost control of the cartels,” the president explained. “They’ve totally lost control of the cartels. Mexico last year had 42,000 deaths — murders — 42,000. It’s considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.”
Breitbart News’ Cartel Chronicles has been on the front line reporting the gruesome crimes carried out by these groups.
Border journalist Robert Arce noted on March 10 about the ambush-style murder of three Mexican state police officers in Chihuahua (immediately south of El Paso, Texas).
In February, Roy and Green sent a letter to Secretary Pompeo that read, in part:
Numerous drug cartels employ terrorist tactics that clearly fit this definition, such as the Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel, the Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel offshoot of the Sinaloa Cartel. These groups use terror to intimidate and to advance their agenda. They threaten the stability of governments across the globe. Even the United Nation’s Security Council has recognized the clear link between drug trafficking and terrorism.
Many drug cartels are based in Latin America, regions of which have seen decades of ruthless violence. According to a Congressional Research Service report, since 2006 there have been roughly 150,000 organized crime-related killings in Mexico alone. Additionally, Mexico’s Citizen’s Council for Public Security lists that forty-two of the fifty most violent cities in the world are in Latin America. Many of these cities are more dangerous than war zones. Drug cartels have committed heinous acts of terrorism, from carrying out bombings that have killed innocent people, conducting ISIS-style beheadings, assassinating government officials and members of law enforcement, and engaging in torture and indiscriminate murder.
One of the cartel factions on the list is the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG). Breitbart News Border/Cartel Chronicles Director Brandon Darby and journalist Ildefonso Ortiz reported in January that the head of the group served prison time for a terrorist-style attack on a U.S. consulate in Mexico:
A verified and convicted terrorist who attacked a U.S. Consulate with a grenade and automatic rifle fire has taken over the ruthless Los Zetas cartel, a group headquartered at the Texas border in the Nuevo Laredo-Laredo metropolitan border area. Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, sits immediately across the border from Laredo, Texas, and is the only urban location along the entire U.S.-Mexico Border that does not have any fencing or constructed security barrier of any kind. The convicted terrorist, Hector Raul Luna Luna, is known as “El Tory” and was convicted in the 2008 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. He was released from prison due to bribes paid by Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and has now taken over the dominant faction of Los Zetas, Cartel Del Noreste (CDN), to open up the lucrative and unsecured border corridor into Texas.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face