Mexican President Threatens Republicans Calling for US Military to Target Drug Cartels

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has threatened to start a public “information campaign” in the United States against Republican lawmakers after several have called on the U.S. military to target drug cartels south of the border.

“I would just like to tell them either they change their treatment of Mexico or from today we will start an information campaign in the United States so that all Mexicans, our fellow countrymen, know about this aggression by Republicans against Mexico,” López Obrador said Thursday during a news conference.

In the wake of the kidnapping of four Americans and the killing of two of them in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico several Republicans in Congress have demanded the United States step up its fight against Mexican drug cartels, even if that means crossing the border to do it.

“The kidnapping and murder of American citizens in Matamoros prove that Mexico is a narco-state,” Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times. “President Biden must make it clear that this horrible violence will not go unpunished. If Mexico can’t stop the cartels, then our nation must use any tool in our arsenal to solve it for them.”

Pfluger’s call to action is also shared by Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), who introduced legislation in January that would create the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to target Mexican drug cartels in Mexico.

“The cartels are [at] war with us—poisoning more than 80,000 Americans with fentanyl every year, creating a crisis at our border, and turning Mexico into a failed narco-state,” Crenshaw said. “It’s time we directly target them. My legislation will put us at war with the cartels by authorizing the use of military force against the cartels. We cannot allow heavily armed and deadly cartels to destabilize Mexico and import people and drugs into the United States. We must start treating them like ISIS—because that is who they are.”

War of Words

During his news conference, López Obrador specifically called out Crenshaw who posted a video message in Spanish on Wednesday to the Mexican president, asking why López Obrador rejected his proposal for the U.S. military to take action against drug cartels in Mexico.

“Yesterday was the last straw. According to the report presented [to] me this morning, this man, [Crenshaw] dares to say that they are going to use the armed forces of the United States to enter our territory as in an invasion,” said López Obrador.

“We are not going to permit any foreign government to intervene in our territory much less that [foreign] governments armed forces intervene,” he said. “We could go to the U.N. “

As part of the ongoing war of words between Crenshaw and López Obrador, the congressman posted on Twitter “Bring it. Lol,” and told the Mexican president to “get a grip” and start campaigning against the drug cartels not “Americans who want to help eradicate them.”

Kidnapping and Murders

The Gulf cartel has taken responsibility for kidnapping and murdering the Americans in Tamaulipas, where the group has a large presence.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press through a Tamaulipas state law enforcement official, the Scorpions faction of the Gulf cartel apologized to the residents of Matamoros, the Mexican woman who died in the cartel shootout, and the four Americans and their families.

“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,” the letter reads, adding that those individuals had gone against the cartel’s rules, which include “respecting the life and well-being of the innocent.”

Drug cartels have been known to issue communiques to intimidate rivals and authorities, but also at times like these work with public relations to try to smooth over situations that could affect their business.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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