Trey Paul, FISM News
Mexican President Adres Manuel Lopez Obrador is under fire for the harsh words he had for U.S. lawmakers on Thursday after they suggested taking military action against Mexican drug cartels in the wake of two Americans being killed during a kidnapping near the border last week.
We are not going to allow any foreign government to intervene, much less a foreign government’s armed forces,” López Obrador told reporters during a news conference. “We are not a protectorate of the United States, nor a colony of the United States,” he added. “Mexico is a free, independent, sovereign state.”
Investigators say a total of four Americans were kidnapped by armed men just across the Mexican border in Tamaulipas last week. They say they were there to get a medical procedure, but two ended up dying, one was injured and another remained unharmed.
“I would tell the Mexican government if you don’t clean up your act, we’re going to clean it up for you,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during an interview with FOX News after the kidnapping. Sen. Graham also said that he’s ready to introduce legislation that would designate certain Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations and “set the stage to use military force if necessary.”
Lindsey Graham: If the Mexican government doesn't clean up their act, we'll clean it up for them #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/yev6v23he7
— Jesse Watters Primetime (@jesseprimetime) March 7, 2023
The senator’s plan was quickly rejected by the White House. “Designating these cartels as terrorists would not grant us any additional authorities that we don’t really have at this time,” said White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre. “The United States has powerful sanctions authorities specifically designated to combat narcotics-trafficking organizations and the individuals and entities that enable them.”
According to the Associated Press, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and condemned the violence in a recent letter. They also apologized to the people living in Matamoros where the kidnapping occurred.
“We have decided to turn over those who were directly involved and responsible in the events, who at all times acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline,” part of the letter reads. The letter also stated that those individuals had gone against the cartel’s rules, which include “respecting the life and well-being of the innocent.”
Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas already introduced a resolution in January to allow for the authorization of force against cartels in Mexico. Following the kidnapping, Congressman Crenshaw released a message in Spanish on Twitter asking Lopez Obrador why he opposes that resolution.
“In addition to being irresponsible, it is an offense to the people of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said during the news conference, adding that Mexico “does not take orders from anyone.”
Congressman Crenshaw later tweeted: “The President of Mexico said today he would campaign against me & anyone who wants to target the cartels. 1. Bring it. Lol. 2. Get a grip. You should be campaigning against the cartels who are MURDERING your own people, not the Americans who want to help eradicate them.”
The President of Mexico said today he would campaign against me & anyone who wants to target the cartels.
1. Bring it. Lol.
2. Get a grip. You should be campaigning against the cartels who are MURDERING your own people, not the Americans who want to help eradicate them.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) March 9, 2023
The type of military action proposed by Congressman Crenshaw and Sen. Graham would require an Authorized Use of Military Force that would have to pass Congress and be signed into law by President Biden who says he’s committed to working with Mexico to stop illegal drug trafficking.
If Republican lawmakers try to “use Mexico for their propagandist, electoral and political purposes, we will make a call to not vote for that party,” Lopez Obrador said.
According to a new report released on Thursday by the Alliance to Counter Crime Online, members of Mexican drug cartels are using Twitter to recruit new members, send warnings to rival gangs, post gory images and videos, and glorify their lifestyle.