Mexico President Tells Trump ‘No Intervention’ on Cartels

Analysts say bid to label cartels terrorists doesn't make sense

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reacted negatively to President Trump’s recent comments, saying he is open to cooperation with the US on drug cartels, but is not open to the idea of US intervention.

Trump announced Tuesday that he intends to label the Mexican cartels as terrorists, and Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said they contacted the US “to understand the meaning and scope of the remarks.” They also requested an immediate meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the matter and what it actually means.

Analysts are going over that question a lot themselves. Many say that the practical impact is probably going to be minimal, as cartel leaderships tend to disband and reform very often, and the groups were already engaged in illegality in the first place.

They also say he declaration doesn’t make a lot of sense, with the terrorist groups’ hierarchy substantially different from the cartels. If anything, some analysts say it might bolster asylum claims from Mexicans seeking to flee violent crime.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.