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The White House rules out designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations

The White House rules out designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations

The White House rules out designating Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations

Written by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Biden administration on Wednesday ruled out designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations following the kidnapping of four Americans that left two dead near the US-Mexico border.

“Designating these cartels as a [foreign terrorist organizations] it wouldn’t give us any additional authority that we don’t really have right now,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference with reporters. “The United States has powerful designated sanctions authorities specifically to combat drug trafficking organizations and the people and entities that enable them. So we weren’t afraid to use them.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press conference at the White House on February 13, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House is in contact with the families of U.S. citizens who were kidnapped or killed in Mexico in a high-profile international incident that prompted a response from the FBI and top Mexican law enforcement, it said. said Jean-Pierre.

At a briefing Wednesday, Jean-Pierre said the administration has spoken with the families of the victims but did not offer many details. It is unclear whether President Joe Biden personally spoke with the families.

“We will do everything in our power to identify, find and hold accountable those responsible for this attack, and we continue to work in coordination with the Mexican government,” he said. The US Treasury Department, he added, has sanctioned Mexican companies and individuals in connection with drug trafficking and cartels in recent months.

In October 2022 and last month, the agency sanctioned members of the powerful Sinaloa cartel allegedly involved in the organization’s fentanyl and methamphetamine trade. The agency last week targeted Mexican companies linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known as CJNG, with new sanctions, according to a press release.

CJNG in some areas has “become heavily involved in timeshare fraud, often targeting US citizens.” the department said. “This crime, which can defraud victims of their life savings, generates another important revenue stream for the cartel and strengthens its global criminal enterprise. Today’s action exposes this CJNG scheme and also serves as a warning to potential victims, many of whom are elderly.”

Jean-Pierre’s response to the Biden administration’s strategies targeting the cartels came in the wake of a violent incident that occurred in Matamoros, Mexico, which is south of Brownsville, Texas. Four Americans were kidnapped and two of them died after crossing the border for medical treatment, according to US and Mexican authorities.

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