GOP Rep Calls for Authorization of Military Force Against Mexican Cartels After Death of 2 Americans
A House Republican believes it is time to treat cartels in Mexico as military targets after two Americans were killed.
On Tuesday, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) tweeted, “2 of the 4 Americans kidnapped by the cartels in Mexico were murdered, and we still haven’t declared the cartels a military target. It’s time we authorize military force against them.”
He tagged Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and asked, “Are you listening?”
“We would love for you to be a partner. Help us help you,” Crenshaw added.
2 of the 4 Americans kidnapped by the cartels in Mexico were murdered, and we still haven’t declared the cartels a military target. It’s time we authorize military force against them.
Are you listening, @lopezobrador_?
We would love for you to be a partner. Help us help you.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) March 7, 2023
On Tuesday, the governor of Tamaulipas, Américo Villarreal, shared that two out of four Americans who were kidnapped last week had been found dead. The other two were found alive.
López Obrador said, “We are very sorry that this happened in our country, and we send our condolences to the families of the victims, friends, and the United States government, and we will continue doing our work to guarantee peace and tranquility.”
An unnamed senior Mexican official told The New York Times at least one of the Americans died at the scene of the abduction on Friday.
The Times noted, “U.S. and Mexican authorities have been searching for the four Americans since they were kidnapped in Mexico on Friday after they crossed into the country from Texas for medical help, according to officials in both countries.”
“The four Americans drove into the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, from Brownsville, Texas, in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates when gunmen began firing on their vehicle, the F.B.I. said. The gunmen then put the Americans in another vehicle and drove them away,” it added.
The paper noted it is “common for Americans to get entangled in violence in northern Mexico.” However, it added, “It is not very common for U.S. nationals to be kidnapped in Mexico.”
According to NBC News, “A law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter said a woman in the group had been seeking a cosmetic medical procedure. The official said cartel gunmen had targeted the group in a case of mistaken identity.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to share a similar sentiment as Crenshaw. During an appearance on Fox News on Monday, he said, “I would put Mexico on notice. If you continue to give safe haven to drug dealers, then you are an enemy of the United States.”
He also vowed to “introduce legislation to make certain Mexican drug cartels foreign terrorist organizations under U.S. law and set the stage to use military force if necessary.”
“I would tell the Mexican government, if you don’t clean up your act, we’re going to clean it up for you,” Graham added.
Meanwhile, former Attorney General William Barr argued in a column published in The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. “can no longer tolerate narco-terrorist cartels.” He suggested there should be a “far more aggressive American effort inside Mexico than ever before, including a significant U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence presence, as well as select military capabilities.”
Barr also stated the goal should be to “degrade the cartels to the point that Mexican governments can muster the will and the wherewithal to keep them in check.”
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