Barr to visit Mexico for talks on US efforts to fight drug cartels

November 30, 2019

Attorney General William “Bill” Barr is reportedly leaving the country.

This week, Barr will travel to Mexico to discuss possible cooperation between Mexico and the United States in the fight against drug cartels. 

Barr to visit Mexico

Barr’s visit comes after President Donald Trump recently revealed his plans to formally designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. The idea is that the move would allow the United States to impose significant sanctions on the groups so as to disrupt their finances and their basic ability to operate successfully.

With this in mind, Barr, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, will be crossing the border to discuss the matter.

Presumably, Barr will be speaking to Mexican officials about U.S. plans in light of the president’s comments. Surely, putting Mexican cartels on the list of terrorist organizations will have rather more substantial consequences than merely giving them a new label, and Mexican officials are concerned about an action Ebrard has referred to as “unnecessary and inconvenient.”

It is therefore likely that Barr will encounter some fairly significant resistance to the president’s stated intentions upon his arrival in Mexico City.

No help wanted

The Mexican government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has thus far been very reluctant to accept any kind of help from the United States in the fight against these cartels. Despite numerous offers of military assistance from President Trump, for example, Lopez Obrador has always declined.

One of the things that Mexican official will be most worried about is giving the United States the power to carry out military operations in the country, something that Lopez Obrador has refused to allow up to this point and something that has not been permitted at any time over the past century, going back to the last foreign invasion of Mexico.

“Armed foreigners cannot intervene in our territory,” Lopez Obrador insists, essentially arguing that such a scenario would represent a direct threat to Mexico’s sovereignty.

Instead, the Mexican president has sought to assure the United State that it is taking care of the matter by disrupting the cartel’s cash flow and cutting back on the trafficking of illegal arms into the United States. Mexican officials believe that “satisfactory progress is already being made and that U.S. aid is unnecessary.

Drastic action needed

To Trump officials, however, who have seen the trouble that these cartels are causing for Americans — consider, for example, the massacre of several members of an American family living in Mexico that took place earlier this month — more needs to be done.

President Trump is committed to making our country a safer place that is free from cartel-related violence and the devastating ripple effects of cross-border drug trafficking, and hopefully Barr’s meeting next week will prove to be another step in the right direction.


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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut.