Designating Mexican Drug Cartels as Foreign Terrorists: Policy Implications [December 6, 2019] [open pdf - 573KB]
From the Document: "Whether DTO [drug trafficking organization] violence meets the criteria for terrorist activity or terrorism, terms defined in U.S. law, was debated during the Obama Administration and continues to be raised by some Members of Congress. President Trump's comments have reinvigorated this debate and drawn consternation from Mexico. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took office last December, is under pressure to adopt a security strategy that can successfully deal with the DTOs and reduce drug trafficking-related violence. He has rejected the call for a 'war' on DTOs, which he asserts would increase the number of civilian casualties. He and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard oppose any U.S. intervention that could be construed as a violation of Mexican sovereignty. López Obrador and Ebrard did discuss bilateral efforts against arms trafficking that has fueled DTO-related violence when they met Attorney General William Barr on December 5."
CRS Insight, IN11205
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/