Texas Republican: Put Mexican Drug Cartels on State Dept’s List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Penny Starr|CNSNews

McCaul called the struggle against the drug cartels a “war on our doorstep,” and said that the United States should “explore a joint military and intelligence operation with Mexico” to stop the cartels. He said this strategy was successful when the United States and Columbia partnered to stop Columbian drug cartels. Democrats at the hearing downplayed the “spill-over” drug cartel violence in the United States and credited Mexico for its efforts to stop the drug gangs.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would direct Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) – a designation that would put them on the same list as al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hezbollah.

The designation by the State Department also would make the named cartels subject to the same sanctions as other terrorist organizations, including the freezing of the cartels’ monetary assets and the criminal prosecution of those that provide “material support or resources” to an FTO.

“Cartels kidnap, kill, and mutilate innocent civilians, elected officials and law enforcement, using gruesome tactics to intimidate government officials and citizens to abide by their rules,” said McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations and Management Subcommittee, which held a hearing on the cartels on Thursday.

McCaul called the violence and killings caused by the cartels “acts of terrorism.”

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