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Mexico’s president slams calls for US military to target cartels


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rejected calls for the US military to intervene to halt drug cartel violence in Mexico, citing that such a move would violate the country’s sovereignty.

At a press conference on Thursday, Lopez Obrador said his government “will not allow any foreign government to intervene on our territory, let alone any government’s armed forces to intervene.”

“In addition to being irresponsible, it is an insult to the people of Mexico,” he said, adding that Mexico “takes no orders from anyone.”

On Wednesday, Texan Republican Dan Crenshaw released a message in Spanish asking Lopez Obrador why he opposed a proposal the congressman introduced in January that authorized the US military to attack drug cartels in Mexico.

“The cartels are at war with us — poisoning more than 80,000 Americans with fentanyl every year, creating a crisis on our border and turning Mexico into a failed narco-state,” Crenshaw said in a statement. rack on 12 January on the proposed legislation.

It’s time we hit them head on. My legislation will put us at war with the cartels by allowing the use of military force against the cartels. We cannot allow heavily armed and deadly cartels to destabilize Mexico and import people and drugs into the United States.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also said in a Fox News interview Monday that it was time to “put Mexico on the alert.” He advocated legislation to classify some Mexican drug cartels as “foreign terrorist groups”.

Drug cartel violence in Mexico is once again under scrutiny in the US after four Americans were kidnapped by gunmen last Friday.

The four Americans were taken away in a pickup truck after “unidentified gunmen fired at their vehicle,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a statement over the weekend.

“All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men.”

A Mexican national was killed in the incident, which took place as drug cartel factions ripped through the streets, Tamaulipas governor Americo Villarreal said.

The US citizens had crossed into the northeastern Mexican town of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, for a medical procedure. However, the city is plagued by violence related to drug trafficking and other organized crime.

Mexican authorities searched frantically as the cartel moved the four Americans, even taking them to a medical clinic, “to create confusion and avoid attempts to rescue them,” the region’s governor said.

Bodies and survivors were finally found Tuesday in a wooden cabin in a rural area east of Matamoros guarded by a man who had been arrested, according to the state’s chief prosecutor Irving Barrios.

Two of the abducted had been killed, while the other two were found alive, one with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Soldiers stand guard outside a morgue for the transfer of the bodies of two of four Americans abducted by gunmen in Matamoros, Mexico March 9, 2023 (Daniel Becerril/Reuters)

The survivors were returned to US soil on Tuesday in a convoy of ambulances and SUVs escorted by Mexican military Humvees and National Guard trucks with mounted machine guns.

On Thursday, someone claiming to be from the Mexican drug cartel allegedly involved in the kidnapping condemned the violence, saying the group had turned the perpetrators over to authorities.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press news agency from a Tamaulipas state law enforcement source, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf Cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros, the Mexican woman who died in the shooting, and the four Americans and their families.

Drug cartels are known to issue communiqués to intimidate rivals and authorities, but sometimes also to smooth over situations that could affect their business.

“We have decided to extradite those directly involved and responsible for the events, who at all times acted on their own decision-making and indiscipline,” the letter reads.

It added that the individuals involved were in violation of the cartel’s rules, which included “respect for the life and well-being of the innocent”.

Still, the fatal kidnappings and backlash could complicate delicate efforts to promote closer U.S.-Mexico cooperation on issues such as immigration and drug trafficking.

Lopez Obrador said Thursday he would launch a public information campaign targeting Mexicans in the United States about the Republican-led proposal for US military intervention.

If Republican lawmakers try to “use Mexico for their propagandistic, electoral and political purposes, we will issue an appeal not to vote for that party,” the Mexican president said.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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