Obrador Feuds With U.S. Over Drug Cartels


Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador | Image by Octavio Hoyos/Shutterstock

In televised press conferences on Thursday and Friday, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador lambasted U.S. policymakers who called for a military response to cartel violence and a terrorist designation for the cartels.

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for Mexican cartels to be labeled as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). On Thursday, he told Fox News, “We’re going to start killing terrorists in Mexico who are killing Americans.”

On Friday, Obrador responded, as per The Hill, “That is not the path — of threats, of submission, of invasion. Who do those interventionist, arrogant wimps think they are? Mexico is to be respected.”

Obrador had suggested on Thursday that Mexico could interfere in American elections to swing results against the Republican Party:

“Starting today we are going to start an information campaign for Mexicans who live and work in the United States and for all Hispanics to inform them of what we are doing in Mexico and how this initiative by the Republicans, in addition to being irresponsible, is an offense against the people of Mexico, a lack of respect for our independence, our sovereignty.”

Obrador added, “And if they do not change their attitude and think that they are going to use Mexico for their propaganda, electoral, and political purposes, we are going to call for them not to vote for that party, because it is interventionist, inhumane, hypocritical, and corrupt.”

The extraordinary cross-border war of words has heightened tensions between the U.S. and Mexico and has threatened Texas’ historically friendly ties to Mexico.

Despite the threats from Mexico’s President, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the “Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act” on Friday. If passed, the bill would designate the Gulf Cartel, Cartel del Noreste, Cartel de Sinaloa, and Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion terrorist organizations.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) expressed her support for the measure on Fox Business:

“If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck — call it what it is. When you’ve got these terrorist cartels that are going around their state and now our state attacking innocent civilians, kidnapping them, murdering them, we’ve got a problem. We must use every tool in our toolbox to go after them.”

Mexico’s consulate in Dallas did not respond to The Dallas Express‘ request for comment, but the consulate did share several statements on Twitter from Mexican nationals calling for Mexico to “defend the sovereignty of Mexico.”

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