Point/Counterpoint: Should Mexican Cartels Be Designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations?

By CIS on November 27, 2019

On Tuesday, November 26, President Donald Trump revealed that his administration was three months into a process of designating as Foreign Terrorist Organizations at least some Mexican drug trafficking cartels. To date, the FTO designation has been applied mostly to Islamic terrorist groups regarded as a significant threat to U.S. national security. An FTO designation triggers powerful American authorities to freeze financial assets, prosecute for activities that support terrorism, and bar entry into the country. Applying an FTO designation to Mexican cartels is not a new idea and has proven controversial as a public policy. In these two posts, CIS fellows Dan Cadman and Todd Bensman present arguments for and against the FTO designation for Mexican cartels.

Dan Cadman: "It's Time to Designate Cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations"

Todd Bensman: "Hold Off: Designating Mexican Cartels as Terrorists Could Dilute War on Jihadists"