Amid the belief held by many that Mexico is little more than a narco-state controlled by violent paramilitary drug gangs, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., responded to the death of nine Americans in Northern Mexico to say that the U.S. “may have to take matters into our own hands.”
“Unfortunately, it’s plain that the Mexican government can’t handle this,” Cotton said on Tuesday in an appearance on Fox News’ “Your World.”
“President Lopez Obrador came into office almost a year ago saying his strategy for dealing with the cartels was going to be more hugs, not bullets,” he added. “That may work in a children’s fairy tale, but in the real world when three American women and six American children were gunned down and burned alive, the only thing that can counteract bullets is more and bigger bullets.”
“If the Mexican government cannot protect American citizens in Mexico, then the United States may have to take matters into our own hands,” Cotton declared.
Source: Fox News
On Monday, nine Americans living in a community of U.S. citizens in Sonora, which is near the U.S. border with New Mexico and Arizona, were gunned down when their vehicle crossed paths with drug cartel members, Fox News reported.
In addition to being shot, the victims, mostly women and children from a Mormon community, were reportedly burnt alive.
President Donald Trump responded to the horrific attack with an offer to join with the Mexican government to “wipe” the murderous drug cartels from the face of the earth.
“This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” he tweeted. “We merely await a call from your great new president!”
He called the cartels “monsters,” adding they “have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
Speaking at a Tuesday morning press conference, López Obrador rejected the offer.
“It’s not in agreement with our convictions. The worst thing is war,” the decidedly left-wing president said.
Of course, this remark ignores the “war” that plays out daily in the streets of Mexico, courtesy of the drug cartels.
López Obrador ran on the promise of ending the long-running drug war in Mexico, but released Ovidio Guzmán, son of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, after cartel gunmen besieged the northern city of Culiacán last month, killing 13 people, The Hill reported.
Sen. Cotton likened Lopez Obrador’s reaction to Monday’s attack to appeasement.
“They take it as a sign of weakness and they prey upon the innocent,” he said of the cartels.
When Cavuto pointed out that the cartels are on foreign soil, Cotton countered to say they “have already been designated transnational criminal organizations,” likening them to terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.
“If the Mexican government can’t protect Americans inside Mexico we may have to take matters into our own hands,” he reiterated. “We showed we can do it in Syria, we showed we can could do it in Pakistan. We can certainly defend American citizens inside Mexico if Mexico is not willing or able to do so.”
Cotton cited last week’s raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria and the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, noting that Mexico is a lot closer to home.
He said the violence seen in Mexico is “a reminder of just how important it is to secure our border.”
“We want to work with the government of Mexico,” Cotton concluded. “Not just to protect our border but also help them get control of the cartels that are making life inside Mexico a living hell for their citizens and for ours. But in the meantime, we have to protect our citizens if the Mexican government cannot.”
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