Published: Sun, December 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump Says Will Hold Off Designating Mexican Drug Cartels as Terrorist Groups

Trump Says Will Hold Off Designating Mexican Drug Cartels as Terrorist Groups

But Trump said he would hold off the designation at the request of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who he called "a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us".

In a previous incident, at least 14 people died after Mexican security forces engaged in an hour-long gun battle with suspected cartel gunmen in a Mexican town near the U.S. border. "Statutorily we are ready to do so", the President tweeted.

President Donald Trump says he will hold off on designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

Looking ahead to the presidential election next year, Lopez Obrador sought to tap widespread discontent with Mexico's ruling party and resentment toward the new USA president, while placing faith in Americans to resist Trump's policies.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard wrote that López Obrador also "respects and appreciates" Trump. "Cooperation has won and opens the way for good results", he wrote.

It was unclear if Mexico had promised Mr Trump anything in return for suspending the designation, which could have caused Mexico headaches.

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"I will be designating the cartels. absolutely".

Members of a group deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department are not allowed to enter the country.

The proposal to designate Mexican drug cartels - a long burning issue for the Central American nation - as terrorist organizations reportedly raised concerns among Mexican authorities that Washington would deploy forces on Mexican soil, a direct interference in the neighboring country's domestic affairs.

"I've been working on that for the last 90 days", Mr Trump said in the interview when asked whether such a designation would be forthcoming.

The victims, including twin 8-month-old babies, were killed as they drove on a remote road between the states of Sonora and Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, a lawless region disputed by warring drug cartels.

"When they want to build a wall to segregate populations, or when the word "foreigner" is used to insult, denigrate and discriminate against our fellow human beings, it goes against humanity, it goes against intelligence and against history", the veteran politician added.

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