In fact, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s psychological, but it’s also economic, Said Trump 

President Trump told Breitbart News Monday that he is “strongly considering” classifying the Mexican cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). Trump cited ongoing violence and drug trafficking in Mexico as his reasoning.

“We are. We are,” Trump told Breitbart. “We’re thinking about doing it very seriously. In fact, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time. It’s psychological, but it’s also economic. As terrorists — as terrorist organizations, the answer is yes. They are.”

“They’ve totally lost control of the cartels,” said Trump. “Mexico last year had 42,000 deaths — murders — 42,000. It’s considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world.”

FTO Designation
San Diego, CA / USA – November 27, 2018: Clashes between border patrol and migrant caravan have led to increased tension and police presence along border – Image

Moreover, argue proponents of Trump’s proposal, the FTO designation better allocates resources to defeat such threats by menacing organizations like the cartels. Last month, Reps. Chip Roy (Texas) and Mark Green (Tenn.) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking that he add the cartels to the terror watch list.

“Violent drug cartels are not just a domestic policy issue limited to their home countries.” the two  lawmakers stated. “These groups view America’s sovereign borders as merely minor inconveniences.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 2,300 fentanyl arrests and 405 seizures of fentanyl in 2017, according to ICE. Fentanyl threatens American lives and in its purest form it is considered a weapon of mass destruction, according to law enforcement officials. It’s a powerful substance that is used to fuel addiction and the opioid epidemic in our country.

Not In Vein

This sentiment has been echoed by law enforcement officials including Chris Farrell, who formerly served as an army counterintelligence officer and is currently Director of Investigations at Judicial Watch.

Farrell appeared in the documentary, a film produced by Sara Carter’s non-profit The Dark Wire Investigation Foundation and Full Story Foundation. Farrell said his solution is to declare the cartels as FTOs.

“When they’re declared what they are, terrorist organizations, you give the Mexican government a choice: they can cooperate and get on board, and help us to fight them as what they are (terrorist organizations) or we could do it ourselves.” said Farrell.

Thus, the FTO designation would dramatically change law enforcements abilities to stop the cartels in their tracks, said Farrell.