Mexican drug cartels need to be designated as terroristsby Hugh Holub on Jun. 06, 2011, under mexican drug cartels, politics
Texas Conressman Michael McCaul has introduced HR 1270 asking that the various Mexican drug cartels be deemed officially as terrorist groups.
H.R.1270 — To direct the Secretary of State to designate as foreign terrorist organizations certain Mexican drug cartels, and for other purposes. (Introduced in House)
HR 1270 112th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1270
To direct the Secretary of State to designate as foreign terrorist organizations certain Mexican drug cartels, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 30, 2011
Mr. MCCAUL (for himself and Mr. KING of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
A BILL To direct the Secretary of State to designate as foreign terrorist organizations certain Mexican drug cartels, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Office of Counterterrorism of the Department of State has stated, `FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.’.
(2) Foreign drug cartels have used brutal tactics of violence and the threat of violence against United States citizens to protect and expand their drug trade and as well as their areas of operation. In September 2010, American David Hartley was shot by the Mexican drug cartel, the Zetas, while jet skiing, because he unknowingly came too close to their avenues for drug smuggling across Falcon Lake in Texas. In February 2011, Special Agent Jaime Zapata, an Immigrations and Customs Agent, was murdered by the Zetas while on duty in Mexico. These are only two cases of many where American lives have been lost or threatened due to the actions of drug cartels.
(3) When Americans at home and abroad, including agents assigned to protect United States borders and national security, are targeted, threatened, and attacked by such foreign entities, it serves a continual threat to the safety and security of the United States and its people.
(4) The Mexican drug cartels meet all of the legal criteria for designation as foreign terrorist organizations under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189):
(A) The organizations are foreign organizations.
(B) The organizations engage in terrorist activity (as defined in section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)) or terrorism (as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism).
(C) The terrorist activity or terrorism of the organizations threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.
SEC. 2. DESIGNATION.
The Secretary of State shall designate under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) as a foreign terrorist organization the following:
(1) The Arellano Feliz Organization.
(2) The Los Zetas Cartel.
(3) The Beltran Leyva Organization.
(4) La Familia Michoacana.
(5) The Sinaloa Cartel.
(6) The Gulf Cartel/New Federation.
This is badly needed.
While the Sinaloan and Gulf and Zeta cartels may not have a political ideology like Al Qaeda….they are acting to control territory, terrorizing the population, killing journalists and elected officials and doing everything the Taliban is doing in Afghanistan. Just visit the town of Sasbe, Sonora to see first hand what is going on…if you are very very brave.
To treat the drug cartels as just another organized crime bunch badly understates what they are. They are like the Somali pirates.
They are amred with heavy weapons and pose a national security threat to the US.
They have already killed US law enforcement officials.
Playing cat and mouse with the drug cartels using the Border Patrol and DEA to catch them smuggling drugs into the US is woefully inadequate to confront the threat here and in Mexico. A bunch of Border Patrol agents driving trucks is not sufficient to take out drug cartel spotters on our mountain tops.
Major efforts are needed to reach into the financial structure of the cartels and destory that.
The leadership of the cartels need to be treated with the same zeal that we use to hunt down Islamic terrorists.
Mexico does not see to recognize its sovereignty over vast areas of the country is being lost. Or it is incapable of stopping the take-over of parts of its nation by the cartels.
A major advatage of designating the drug cartels as officially being terrorists is that we can look at the entire system of funding the drug operations as aiding and abetting terrorism. And the people directly involved in drug smuggling as “terrorists” opens some useful law enforcement options.
As Prepared for Delivery
Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management
“On the Border and in the Line of Fire: U.S. Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Drug Cartel Violence”
May 11, 2011
Welcome to this Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management hearing titled ―On the Border and in the Line of Fire: US Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Drug Cartel Violence.‖ It is the second of two hearings to raise awareness of the danger we face along our Southern border with Mexico to determine what we are doing to confront this growing national security threat to both countries.
Our first hearing examined the US strategy assisting Mexico to win its war against the drug cartels. Testimony revealed drug cartels are taking huge amounts of territory and the violence in Mexico is escalating at an alarming rate.
We concluded there is no comprehensive US strategy and recommended they use lessons learned from Plan Colombia as our framework.
Additionally, federal law defines “terrorism” as activity that is “intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.”
That is why I, along with Chairman King, introduced HR 1270, designating the Mexican drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations to provide us more authority to go after them and those who provide them assistance.
We communicated all these findings to Secretary Clinton, Attorney General Holder and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Mr. Donilon.
Subcommittee Hearing: “On the Border and in the Line of Fire: U.S. Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Drug Cartel Violence”
Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management | 311 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 | May 11, 2011 10:00am
A Tale of Two Borders: Texas, Arizona Law Enforcement Tell Congress that US Border Violence, Holes in Security are Reality
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top law enforcement agents from Texas and Arizona testified before Congress that crime and violence directly linked to Mexican drug cartels is more prevalent than federal crime statistics or the Obama administration portray. Their testimony was in sharp contrast to that of witnesses from the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice who said they agree with the administration’s assertion that the border has never been more secure.
“It’s interesting to see the difference of perspective from those who sit in Washington and those who reside near the border who experience first hand the threat of violence,” said Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), who chaired the hearing before the Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations & Management Subcommittee, at which the federal witnesses refused to testify alongside state officials. The purpose of the hearing was to develop an accurate assessment of border security and determination of the level of cartel-related violence.
“We have incursions every day. We have people that are afraid to go out on their property,” testified Chief Victor Rodriguez of the McAllen, TX Police Department.
“It’s not more secure than it’s ever been,” Zapata Co. Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzales, Jr. told the committee. “It’s more violent.”
The bottom line is that it’s not secure,” testified Colonel Steve McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. “There’s been a proliferation of organized crime in Texas.” He said the increased number of seizures and arrests, as touted by the administration, “only prove that the border is not secure.”
The hearing comes one day after President Obama declared his administration has gone “above and beyond” Republican requests to secure the border. His remarks came during a political speech in El Paso in which he urged passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
“This is reality and finally it’s getting reported,” Rep. McCaul said of the state law enforcement testimony. “My goal is what can we do to help Mexico win this war and better secure our border. The administration wants to say ‘we checked the box, now let’s move on’.”
Central to the issue is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, which the federal government uses to measure violence along the border. The UCR does not include kidnappings, extortions, home invasions, smuggling or recruitment of children that are directly related to cartel violence.
“There’s no executive branch definition of spillover violence,” responded Amy Pope of the Department of Justice when asked whether cartel-on-cartel violence is counted.
“That’s my point,” responded Chairman McCaul. “I’m just trying to get to the truth here. People are going to spin this thing politically both ways, but it seems to me that if you are going to record crime statistics, you ought to be recording the things that they do best. They kill each other, they kidnap and extort, and yet all that is removed from the definition of spillover violence. I don’t think we’re getting an accurate assessment here.”
“If you can’t reflect all of those factors, if you can’t reflect the manifestation of violence, that is not just at the border but ends up in our cities, reflected by the… gangs that are working directly for these cartels, then you have a false understanding of what our threat is,” testified McCraw. “You’re kidding yourself. You’re not going to secure the border through definitions.”
Previous articles and commentaries about the border….
Guns and Mexico … be very afraid my friends
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