WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – Following the kidnapping of four Americans in Matamoros, Mexico — which ended with two Americans murdered — Republican lawmakers in Washington want to pass a bill to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is helping to lead the effort to categorize Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations but points out lawmakers have been trying to do that for over a decade.
“We’re going to destroy their business model and their lifestyle,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
California Democratic congressman Pete Aguilar says the decision to label cartels as terrorists should involve the Department of Homeland Security and others but agrees Mexican drug cartels are a big problem.
“There’s no doubt that what the cartel is seeking to do is disastrous, it’s harmful, it puts people’s lives in jeopardy,” Rep. Aguilar said.
That’s why Sen. Graham says the terrorist designation is needed but says labeling Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations won’t change much.
“We’re going to unleash the fury and might of the United States against these cartels,” Graham added.
The White House says it’s using sanctions against the cartels and others who enable them and is working with the Mexican government to find those responsible for the kidnappings and murders.
“The United States will be relentless in pursuing justice for the victims,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said.
Sen. Graham also proposes using the U.S. military to fight the cartels. However, designating cartels as terrorist organizations wouldn’t give the U.S. the power to do that on the other side of the border.