HomeNewsBriefUS Congressman Repeats Call to Designate Mexican Drug Gangs as 'Terrorists'
BRIEF

US Congressman Repeats Call to Designate Mexican Drug Gangs as 'Terrorists'

MERIDA INITIATIVE / 5 OCT 2011 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

For the second time, U.S. congressman Michael McCaul has called for Mexico’s drug trafficking groups to be officially designated as terrorist organizations.

During an October 4 Congressional hearing on the Merida Initiative, the congressman from Texas called on the U.S. government to place Mexico’s drug cartels on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). As a justification, Representative McCaul said that the violent acts carried out by the groups represent “the very essence of terrorism.”

“The drug cartels intimidate and coerce the civilian population, affect the conduct of the Mexican government and threaten the national security of the United States,” McCaul said, listing the measures that the U.S. government uses to define terrorism.

This is the second time that McCaul has called for this step, having introduced a bill in the House of Representatives in March that sought the same action. As InSight Crime has reported, such a move is both controversial and highly unlikely to take place.

The main issue with the proposal is the differentiation between “criminal” and “terrorist” activity. If, for instance, the powerful Sinaloa Cartel was added to the list of FTOs, it is unclear whether distributors of their product in places like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta would be considered domestic collaborators. This would also be extremely problematic for many gun stores along the southern border, which are a major source of weaponry to the cartels and could thus be considered guilty of aiding terrorism.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCAINE / 17 JAN 2023

The trial of Mexico’s former top public security official will reveal shortcomings in the fight against organized crime.

CHAPITOS / 23 DEC 2022

The Chapitos are winning the internal war for the Sinaloa Cartel and doing it in a different way than their…

FENTANYL / 14 APR 2021

Seizures of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl by customs agents in the United States have skyrocketed nationwide, underscoring potential shifts…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…