Mar 29 2023

Graham, Senators Introduce Legislation To Designate Mexican Drug Cartels As Foreign Terrorist Organizations

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), and Steve Daines (R-Montana) today introduced Ending the Notorious, Aggressive, and Remorseless Criminal Organizations and Syndicates (NARCOS) Act

The Ending the NARCOS legislation would designate the following Mexican cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs):

  • Sinaloa Cartel
  • Jalisco New Generation Cartel
  • Gulf Cartel
  • Los Zetas Cartel
  • Northeast Cartel
  • Juarez Cartel
  • Tijuana Cartel
  • Beltran-Leyva Cartel
  • La Familia Michoacana, also known as the Knight Templar Cartel

Designating cartels as FTOs gives law enforcement agencies and prosecutors greater powers to freeze the assets of an organization, deny members of the organization entry into the United States, and seek tougher punishments against those who provide material support to the terrorist organization.

“Despite what the President of Mexico says, drug cartels are in control of large parts of Mexico,” said Graham. “They are making billions of dollars sending fentanyl and illicit drugs into the United States where it is killing our citizens by the thousands. Designating these cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations will be a game-changer. We will put the cartels in our crosshairs and go after those who provide material support to them, including the Chinese entities who send them chemicals to produce these poisons. The designation of Mexican drug cartels as FTOs is a first step in the major policy changes we need to combat this evil.”

“We need to dismantle and disincentivize Mexico’s cartels in every way possible. Designating these murderers as Foreign Terrorist Organizations would give U.S. officials more tools to use in putting the cartels and the networks that support them behind bars,” said Kennedy.

The legislation also creates an Interagency Task Force to coordinate the efforts of the United States Government to stop the Mexican cartels and other transnational criminal organizations.  This would be similar to the National Counterterrorism Center that was established after 9/11 to coordinate government-wide intelligence gathering.

Full text of the Ending the NARCOS Act is available HERE.