Republicans Call for Military Action Against Mexican Drug Cartels After Americans Kidnapped and Murdered
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The kidnapping and murder of Americans in the Mexican border town of Matamoros has some lawmakers calling for U.S. military action against the Mexican drug cartels. But Mexico's president is warning the U.S. not to intervene in its domestic affairs.
The issue has risen to the forefront after a road trip to Mexico for cosmetic surgery veered violently off course. Four Americans were caught in a drug cartel shootout, leaving two dead and two held captive for days before being rescued.
Officials say the two survivors are back on U.S. soil and recovering in a hospital in Brownsville, Texas.
Their minivan came under fire shortly after they crossed into the border city of Matamoros on Friday. Cartel members hauled the Americans away in a truck.
Mexican authorities searched for the hostages as the cartel moved them from place to place, eventually locating them in a shack in a remote area near the Gulf Coast.
Latavia Tay Mcgee, a mother of five, was found alive according to her mother, who said, "I had to hold my heart. I was thanking the Lord. I said 'Thank you Jesus.' There is a God."
Also rescued was Eric James Williams. But two other members of the group, Shaheed Woodard and Zindell Brown, were killed during the attack.
Mexican officials say this was a case of mistaken identity. Investigators believe the gunmen may have targeted the vehicle because they wrongly believed the group were rival human traffickers.
Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Biden Administration is fighting the cartels.
"Look, the cartels are responsible for the deaths of Americans, and we are fighting as hard as possible, the DEA and FBI are doing everything possible to dismantle and disrupt and ultimately prosecute the leaders of the cartels and their networks that they depend on."
But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says he's prepared to introduce legislation to allow the president to use military force in Mexico to combat drug cartels.
He told Fox News, "I would put Mexico on notice. If you continue to give safe haven to fentanyl drug dealers, you are an enemy of the United States.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr said the U.S. needs to fight the cartels the way it fought ISIS. "We have to use every tool. We have to use economic, we have use intelligence assets, military assets, and law enforcement," Barr told Fox.
Mexican President López Obrador has cautioned against foreign interference, saying the Mexican government is working on the problem.
But Barr calls Mexico a "failed narco state" and said the government is completely ineffective against the cartels. "The Mexican government is being held hostage by tens of thousands of paramilitary members of terrorist organizations that effectively control Mexico," Barr said.
Barr says fentanyl, much of it coming from Mexico, kills more than 100,000 Americans a year.
Attorneys General from 21 states want the drug cartels designated as terrorist groups.
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