Mexico bristles at U.S. cartel plan, insists it is doing its half

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MEXICO CITY (Information) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned on Friday that his authorities was dedicated to preventing organized crime, searching for to dispel fears that america might take issues in its personal fingers within the struggle in opposition to drug cartels.

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador applauds as he appears to be like on from a balcony throughout a navy parade in celebration of the 109th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution at Zocalo Sq. in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico November 20, 2019. Information/Edgard Garrido

U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned earlier this week that he plans to designate the Mexican cartels as terrorist teams, a transfer geared toward disrupting their funds by imposing sanctions.

Whereas this doesn’t immediately give america authority for navy operations in Mexico, many Mexicans are nervous their northern neighbor might use it as a pretext for a unilateral invention.

Lopez Obrador reiterated he wouldn’t allow an armed overseas intervention a century after the nation was final invaded, arguing that his authorities was already doing its half to battle felony gangs.

“Armed foreigners can not intervene in our territory,” he mentioned, as a substitute providing extra cooperation with america after a collection of current clashes involving drug cartels, safety forces and civilians highlighted the ability of the gangs.

Lopez Obrador’s authorities says its priorities are disrupting the cartels’ money flows and money-laundering alternatives, and halting unlawful arms trafficking into Mexico from america.

The Mexican Finance Ministry’s monetary intelligence unit has frozen the accounts of 771 individuals and 1,057 corporations, with greater than 5.three billion pesos ($274 million) in whole, a press release mentioned.

Mexican officers have had a number of conferences with U.S. counterparts to debate the best way to cease the arms circulate, it mentioned, including that “passable” progress has already been made.

Trump has repeatedly provided navy help within the struggle in opposition to drug gangs, which Lopez Obrador has at all times declined, even after the gangland bloodbath of a U.S.-Mexican household earlier this month.

U.S. Legal professional Common William Barr will go to Mexico subsequent week to debate safety cooperation, Mexico’s Overseas Minister Marcelo Ebrard mentioned. The U.S. embassy in Mexico didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Some U.S. safety officers have mentioned they discover it tougher to work with Lopez Obrador’s authorities than with earlier administrations.

Gladys McCormick, a safety analyst at Syracuse College in New York, mentioned she anticipated Lopez Obrador and Ebrard to “put up extra of a struggle on this problem.”

“Ebrard is ready to listen to from Barr on what exactly such a designation will entail for Mexico given the shortage of particulars and precedent such designation carries,” she mentioned.

($1 = 19.3710 Mexican pesos)

Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Extra reporting by Abraham Gonzalez and Stefanie Eschenbacher; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot and Rosalba O’Brien