An expert on Mexico’s cartels has renewed the call for the federal government to list the crime groups as foreign terrorist organizations.
Jaeson Jones, Director and CEO of Omni Intelligence, told American Thought Leaders’ Jan Jekielek that declaring the Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations would allow U.S. law enforcement agencies to combat the cartels’ criminal activities of drug and human trafficking into the United States.
“Designating the Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations is absolutely essential,” Jones said, noting that this did not mean that America would go to war with them.
Instead, Jones argued it would mean that the tools of national power would come to bear on their activities, making those who are known members of the cartels a priority for every agency at the local, state, and federal level, including the Department of Defence, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and intelligence organizations.
“We have thousands upon thousands of cartel operatives throughout every major city in small communities in this country, and this allows those who are here, who are terrorists, to be deported from the country immediately,” he said. “Second, it limits their mobility globally because now, we can put them on watch lists. And we limit their activities to just Mexico unless they flee via boat or their own aircraft.”
Moreover, the designation would also allow the federal government to cut off the cartels’ wealth using the current anti-terrorism financing laws.
“We’re removing them from our country or removing their mobility globally. We’re isolating them to Mexico. And now, we’re creating an environment over time with which the Mexican government can then go after them,” Jones said.
Jones push for registering the cartels as narcoterrorists comes after former President Donald Trump indicated he would declare the cartels as terrorist organizations after nine Americans were gunned down in a cartel shooting at the border 2019.
The three women and six children, who were part of a breakaway Mormon community, were killed in an ambush in the border Mexican state of Sonora. Members of their extended family, the LeBarons, petitioned the White House to list the cartels as terror groups, saying: “They are terrorists, and it’s time to acknowledge it.”
Trump then stated on the Bill O’Reilly Show in November 2019 that he would designate the cartels as terror groups. However, his plan was later shelved after it met strong resistance from Mexican authorities due to concerns it would violate Mexican sovereignty by opening up a legal avenue for the United States to take action against cartels inside of Mexico.
Mexico’s cartels are currently involved in moving thousands of illegal immigrants every week across the border, with estimates from Texas stating that Border Patrol has been apprehending an estimated 1,000 illegal border-crossers every day.
“We essentially have an open border today on the southern border of the United States,” Sherrif A.J. Louderback, from Jackson County, Texas, told The Epoch Times on March 5.
The current situation has been blamed by some on the Biden administration’s more open policies at the border, which the administration has described as “more humane.” This has included removing some of the Trump immigration policies, including the “Remain in Mexico” initiative, halting the former president’s border wall construction, and reinstating the Obama-era “catch and release” policy.
“If we were on the border right now, we were talking to migrants that are being apprehended, what they would tell you is that the Biden administration said to come, and they have come. And that’s just the facts of it,” Jones said. “Throughout the campaign, the Biden administration said that if people are going to cross, they’re going to be let in the country. And you have to understand that that was like a beacon to folks all over the world.”
Jones noted that he believes this year there will be more people crossing the border than ever before.
“And part of that is that for about the last nine to 10 months, people have been crossing from China, from Africa, and the routes they take are really incredible. They come down the Horn of Africa, they come across on big ships, usually to South American, and they make their way north,” he said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on March 10 that the latest Border Patrol figures show that in the past two months, there have been 108,000 people apprehended crossing the Rio Grande illegally. In comparison, only 90,000 were arrested for the whole of 2020.
Abbott has declared a crisis and ordered 500 military personnel to the border to help deal with the increased numbers.
“Texas is sending a message to any caravan and to any cartel member. We’re ready. We’re waiting for you. If you dare step into the state of Texas, Texas will use every tool or strategy we can to arrest anybody who’s violating the law, to put behind the bars anybody’s violating the law, to make sure that the laws in the state of Texas are going to be enforced,” Abbott said.
“If you are a caravan or you’re a cartel, you better take your activities to some other place because they will not be accepted in Texas.”
Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Texas adjutant general and commander of the Texas Military Department, confirmed the deployment and noted that 100 of the guards had already been deployed to the border.