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

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / 24 OCT 2018

US authorities arrested two Dominican citizens in connection to a multimillion-dollar fentanyl shipment delivered from Mexico, suggesting that relations between…

GULF CARTEL / 3 MAY 2011

The Zetas left dozens of “narcomantas,” or banners, in public places around the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon in the…

CARSI / 14 FEB 2012

The US State Department's proposed 2013 budget will reduce military and anti-drug aid to Latin America, including to the traditional…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…