Trump's Thanksgiving Day gift: Proposes to list Mexican cartels as terror groups, irks Mexico

  • Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram are some of the terror groups on the US list

  • Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco New Generation, Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas Cartel may also find themselves on the terrorist list

Donald Trump at UFC event
Reuters/Joshua Roberts

Ahead of Thanksgiving Day, President Donald Trump announced that his government is working on a proposal to designate the Mexican drug cartels as terror groups.

The plan to list Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations have put the Mexican government on the defensive, which fears it will complicate trade and security issues.

President Trump told Bill O'Reilly during a radio interview that for the past 90 days, he has been working on plans to designate the Mexican drug cartels as terror groups.

In the interview, which aired for the first time on Tuesday President Trump told that his administration will list some of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels such as Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco New Generation (CJNG), Gulf Cartel, Los Zetas Cartel among others as "foreign terrorist organizations" similar to Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

President's Trump interview will be re-aired on Thanksgiving Day as well.

"We are losing 100,000 people a year to what's happening and what's coming through on Mexico and they have unlimited money, the people, the cartels because they have a lot of money and it's drug money and human trafficking money," President Trump said.

President Trump renewed his call for military intervention in Mexico, following the brutal killing of nine American citizens in Mexico earlier this month. The families of the victims also have petitioned the White House to list the Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

A similar strategy was discussed even during the tenure of President George Bush and Barack Obama, the plan was never executed owing to its economic and trade implications, Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador told The Washington Post. [Also Read: Friends to be screened in movie theaters for Thanksgiving]

Currently, most of those on the terror list are Islamist extremist groups, separatist groups, or Marxist militant groups. Once a group is designated a terrorist organization, it becomes unlawful for people to offer any help.

The Mexican government seems to be less than thrilled about the announcement.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in a post on Twitter said that his country will not accept any action that threatens his country's sovereignty.

This article was first published on November 28, 2019