Mexico warns United States to keep off military operations against cartels

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a ceremony in June 2019

President Donald Trump says he plans to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

Former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda said U.S. intervention in Mexico is "happening already", and that he doubts anyone would treat it like an invasion if the USA wanted to start sending troops or drones. We're losing a hundred thousand people a year to what's happening and what's coming through from Mexico.

"In the unlikely case that a decision is taken that we consider affects our sovereignty, then we will act within the framework of global law, but I see it as unlikely", said the leftist leader, who took office one year ago.

He pledged to take action in an interview with conservative media personality Bill O'Reilly that aired on Tuesday.

Mexico's foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard had previously said on Monday that he did not expect the United States to make such a move. Lopez Obrador was elected in 2018 on a "strategy for peace" and promises of amnesty to non-violent cartel members.

Concurrent with the nationwide crackdown on drugs via the "War on Drugs 2.0", American law enforcement agencies will probably also focus more attentively on combating human trafficking, not just in the sexual sense but also the broader one of illegal immigration seeing as how terrorist-designated cartels might be involved in both.

Mexican officials, institutions and even entire municipalities could be blacklisted by the US if it regards them as being co-opted, influenced, and/or infiltrated by any of the terrorist-designated cartels, thus putting vast pressure on the national government there to undertake transparent, verifiable and effective action to counteract this trend under the pane of having their ties with their northern neighbor severely curtailed.

Mexico said it would also seek a high-level meeting with USA officials to hear their views and present the Mexican government's concerns - which include stemming the illegal flow of American-made weapons south of the border. He urged Mexico to join him in wiping out the drug cartels. While it does not directly give authority for overseas military operations, many Mexicans are nervous that it would lead to unilateral U.S. action against gangs.

Experts say little would likely change on the ground if the U.S. added Mexican cartels to its terror blacklist.

"If the United States tells Mexico, 'I want to send in a drone tomorrow, ' ..."

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