Congressmen Call for U.S. Designation of Mexican Cartels as Terror Orgs — Los Zetas, Gulf in Crosshairs

Los Zetas beheading 2
Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

U.S. Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX) and Dr. Mark Green (R-TN) drafted a letter that will be sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting specific Mexican cartel factions be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). The letter follows years of coverage by Breitbart News and calls from Border/Cartel Chronicles Director Brandon Darby for these specific cartel factions to be added to the terror list.

In a draft of the letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo obtained by Breitbart News, Congressmen Roy and Green wrote:

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.

Violent drug cartels are not just a domestic policy issue limited to their home countries. These groups view America’s sovereign borders as merely minor inconveniences. In 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made more than 2,300 fentanyl arrests and 405 seizures of fentanyl totaling 2,383 pounds. Additionally, cartels operate human trafficking operations into the U.S. that compel victims into forced labor or sexual slavery. While it is difficult to estimate the number of people trafficked each year into the United States, the Department of Justice increased the number of trafficking cases filed by 79% between 2009 and 2016. About 80% of trafficked victims are women, and half are children.

“Cartels are the problem and it is time we started acting like it. These cartels undermine our national security with a relentless attack on our border while trafficking in human beings and dangerous narcotics,” Rep. Roy said in a written statement. “Cartels are endangering American citizens, our Mexican neighbors, and the migrants who seek to come here. I am proud to join my friend Rep. Mark Green to urge the State Department to consider designating them as a Foreign Terror Organization.”

Dr. Green added, “These cartels have utilized barbaric tactics including those adopted by ISIS and al Qaeda – murdering and torturing innocents, destabilizing countries and assassinating members of law enforcement. Moreover, they threaten our homeland security. Our communities suffer from the powerful and dangerous drugs cartels make available to our citizens. Fentanyl and heroin overdoses have taken thousands of lives.”

Before being elected to Congress, Dr. Green served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. He deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

“Both the Reynosa faction of the Gulf Cartel and CDN of Los Zetas long ago crossed the line from being drug cartels to being terror groups,” Darby tweeted last week. They directly use acts of terror to obtain and hold complete control over every facet of society in the territories they control.”

The tweet continues in six parts, making the case for these cartel factions to be designated as terror groups.

During an interview on Breitbart News Tonight, Darby called out a specific faction of the Gulf Cartel for its domination of the human trafficking market from Mexico into South Texas.

“In the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas,” Darby explained. “There is one cartel who operates in that sector — the Gulf Cartel. There are multiple factions of the Gulf Cartel which, on their own are transnational criminal organizations. In this particular area that we are talking about … that is one particular faction of the Gulf Cartel. It is the Reynosa faction.”

“It is the worst faction of the Gulf Cartel and it is the faction of the Gulf Cartel and the only faction of any Mexican cartel that makes as much or more money from smuggling potential asylees to the border and other people who want to enter illegally. They make as much or more from illegal immigration as they do from narcotics.”

The representatives said the purposes behind labeling the specific cartel factions as terrorist organizations are:

  • To make it unlawful for any person who knowingly provides “material support or resources” to the cartel to enter the United States.
  • To prevent any member of a designated drug cartel from legally entering the United States.
  • To allow the Secretary of the Treasury to block all assets possessed or controlled by the drug cartels.
  • To further stigmatize these groups both at home and abroad.

In the letter to Secretary Pompeo, the Congressmen note:

Given these harrowing circumstances, law enforcement needs to have every tool at their disposal to dismantle drug cartels. Labeling cartels that utilize terrorism as FTOs would make it unlawful for any person who knowingly provides “material support or resources” to the cartel to enter the United States, prevent any member of a designated drug cartel from legally entering the United States, and allow the Secretary of the Treasury to block all assets possessed or controlled by the drug cartels. It would also further stigmatize these groups both at home and abroad.

The letter concludes, “We believe that many drug cartels, such as those listed above, fit the INA’s definition of FTOs. Accordingly, we urge the Department to designate these and similar cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The brave men and women of law enforcement deserve all the help they can get in combating these animals.”

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 Facebook.

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