Donald Trump announced Friday that he has decided to postpone the designation of Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations at the request of his counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
“All the work necessary to declare the Mexican cartels terrorist organizations is complete. Legally we are ready to do it,” Trump announced via Twitter.
However,” he added, “at the request of a man I like and respect, and who has worked so well with us, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, we temporarily postponed that designation.
Trump announced last week in a radio interview his intention to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations and in recent days there were discussions in the White House about how to proceed.
That announcement came days after the killing of nine members of the Mexican American Mormon family LeBaron by cartels in the state of Sonora, a crime with much repercussion in both countries.
This Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr was in Mexico and had a meeting with López Obrador in which they discussed the protection of citizens of both countries from transnational criminal organizations.
Barr also thanked Mexico for the arrest of suspects in the massacre. They did not clarify, however, whether they addressed the designation of the cartels as terrorists, something that Mexico opposes.
López Obrador insisted on Friday that he will not accept the presence of foreign forces in Mexican territory “for military purposes,” although he reiterated his willingness to cooperate with the U.S. in security matters.
The United States has a long list of organizations designated as terrorists, mostly Islamist, Marxist or separatist.
Among these organizations are the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Colombian guerrilla National Liberation Army (ELN), the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Jihadist Islamic State (EI) group.