Trump and Mexico’s narcoterrorists


PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s apparently sudden decisions often bring confusion in their wake. But there ought to be no mistaking the significance of his plan to designate Mexican drugs cartels as “terrorists”. When these death-dealing gangsters are legally defined as “terrorists,” it will be possible to deploy a whole new panoply of organizations and measures against them.

There is, in truth, little to choose between the sadistic and gross violence of Daesh (the so-called IS) and the South American drugs cartels, of which those in Mexico are by far and away the most brutal and ruthless. Like Daesh, the Mexican butchers have also filmed their depraved killing and torturing, but unlike Daesh, this footage is not for broadcasting round the world on social media, but kept largely for the amusement of these depraved peddlers of narcotics.

Trump has revealed that the White House has been working of the legal change since the summer. As and when the drugs cartels are classed as terrorist organizations, the impact could be extremely important. The financial dragnet to trace and interdict the movement of terrorist funds has a significantly finer mesh than that used for other international crimes such as fraud and money laundering. This is in part because anti-terror bodies maintain and constantly update a far larger body of intelligence on terrorist gangs. Once the activities of the drugs cartel are fed into the mix, the level of surveillance on them is likely to increase considerably.

The cartels could also face problems maintaining the frightening range of weaponry that they regularly buy from American dealers. Arming or in any way assisting terrorists carries serious penalties, up to and including a death sentence if that support leads to murder. It goes without saying that known cartel members would be banned from entering the US. It remains a possibility that any of these terrorists caught on American territory or picked up by security forces would be detained, maybe even in Guantanamo.

It ought to be a no-brainer that Trump’s move could tip the balance against the Mexican narcoterrorists. Yet the President’s action has brought condemnation from those worried that current negotiations with the cartels, by both the Mexican government and various Non-Government organizations, could be jeopardized. This is absurd nonsense. There is no negotiating with terrorists. They would simply be seeking unofficial license to continue with their savage, evil trade. However, Trump being Trump, he has revealed he told Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he would be prepared to send in killer drones and also US ground forces to “clear out” the terrorist cartels.

This has brought a predictable outraged rejection from the Mexican government. The foreign minister huffed and puffed about forbidding an infringement of his country’s sovereignty. Yet the truth is that key areas, particularly in the North of Mexico, are completely controlled by the narcoterrorists. The government’s sovereignty is already being infringed by bestial criminals who bow to no law. At the very least, president Obrador should see the logic of branding these pitiless criminals as the terrorists they are. Terrorism everywhere constitutes an amoral cancer which should be attacked and excised without mercy. Trump’s instinct is right. There is no point in decent people trying to parlay with these beasts, because any concept of decency is completely beyond their understanding.