Texas Gov. Greg Abbott designated specific Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations and ordered the Department of Public Safety to begin dismantling their infrastructure. The move comes as record levels of the deadly drug fentanyl are pushed across the border.
“Fentanyl is a secret killer and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartel producing fentanyl,” Gov. Abbott said Wednesday at a border security roundtable in Midland, Texas said. “Cartels are terrorists and it’s time we treated them like this. In fact, more Americans have died from fentanyl poisoning in the past year than in all terrorist attacks worldwide in the past 100 years. To save our country , especially our next generation, we must do more to keep fentanyl off the streets.”
Specifically, the governor designated the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) as terrorist organizations. He asked President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to develop federal terrorist designations for these cartels and others that produce and distribute fentanyl.
Abbott also directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies to identify Texas gangs supporting Mexican drug cartels. He directed the funds of these gangs and other criminal enterprises that support the cartel.
inside letter Abbott wrote in Washington, D.C.:
Mexican drug cartels terrorize the United States and its citizens every day, leaving thousands of corpses behind. Their latest weapon of choice is the millions of small fentanyl-laced pills dumped on our southern border. Therefore, it is now more important than ever for you to designate the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco Next Generation Cartel, and any similar Mexican drug cartels as foreign under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Terrorist Organizations. This move will help us fight these terrorists and stop their deadly attacks on America.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75,000 Americans will die from a fentanyl-related overdose between February 2021 and February 2022. To illustrate, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism reports that 3,905 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks worldwide between 1995 and 2019, the majority of which occurred on September 11, 2001. So the scale of terrorism linked to the introduction of fentanyl by Mexican drug cartels is alarming.
The surge in fentanyl deaths in the U.S. is due to Mexican drug cartels smuggling fentanyl across our southern border at an unprecedented rate, thanks to your open border policies.
“In a letter to you in April 2021, I made this designation request. No action, no response,” Abbott concluded. “But if you’re ready to make Americans safer, better late than never. As the death toll in the U.S. continues to rise due to cartel terror, now is the time to act. We have no more time to waste.”
The official from the governor’s office added: “Mexican drug cartels disguised fentanyl as counterfeit drugs and targeted children with ‘rainbow fentanyl’ pills, and the governor’s letter stressed the need for a Biden administration to take immediate and decisive action to address this issue. The field affects the country.”
The Governor held a Border Security Roundtable in Midland, led by DPS Director Steve McGraw, DPS Regional Director West Texas Region Jose Sanchez, Midland County Judge Terry Johnson, Hector County Sheriff Mike Griffith, Midland County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Benny Matlock, Odessa Police Chief Mike Geck, Midland Police Chief Seth Herman and Midland Memorial Hospital District Police Chief Steve McNeil.
On Tuesday, the governor also directed state agencies to begin preparations for the next session of the Texas legislature. The governor ordered the agencies to “outline statutory changes, budget priorities and other initiatives to enhance the state’s ability to block synthetic opioids, provide emergency overdose treatment and expand substance abuse treatment programs.”
“We must take all appropriate action to inform Texans of this danger and prevent further deaths,” Abbott told agency leaders. “Together we can help raise awareness of the threat fentanyl poses and do our part to address this crisis.”
Under Operation Lone Star, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas National Guard seize more than 335 million lethal doses of fentanyl, Governor’s Office report.